Marsh loves his Floozie

Happy crew: Stephen Marsh (third from right) and the connections of Thee Auld Floozie at yesterday's Thorndon Mile presentation. (Photo: Race Images).

Happy crew: Stephen Marsh (third from right), standing alongside breeder John Young, and the other connections of Thee Auld Floozie at yesterday’s Thorndon Mile presentation. (Photo: Race Images).

Stephen Marsh has again fired a successful Group One shot for the Cambridge centre.

Marsh produced Cambridge’s first Group One winner of the 2016-17 season when Ugo Foscolo took the Sothys NZ 2000 Guineas at Riccarton last November and he gave the centre its second Group One win for the term when The Auld Floozie raced away with yesterday’s $200,000 Harcourts Thorndon Mile at Trentham.

Thee Auld Floozie’s win couldn’t have picked a more opportune time to showcase Marsh’s training talent with the National Yearling Sales at Karaka beginning on Monday. And she also did it in the presence of Marsh’s father, Bruce, the successful Singapore trainer who is in New Zealand for the Karaka sales.

“She really deserved her Group One,” said Marsh. “She’s been rock solid and even her last campaign she was the same.

“She’s just coming right as she’s a high-class mare. Her only fault was in the Coupland’s Mile where the track was just too firm for her.”

Thee Auld Floozie became Marsh’s fourth Group One winner training on his own account and all have been since shifting his whole operation north to Cambridge.

Ruud Awakening started the ball rolling when she won the 2013 Gr.1 Haunui Farm Diamond Stakes after taking the Karaka Million. Sofia Rosa became his first Australian Group One winner when following up her relegation from first in the Gr.1 NZ Oaks with her triumph in 2016 Australian Oaks and, of course, Ugo Foscolo chimed in last November in the 2000 Guineas.

Marsh has continued to climb the trainers’ ladder since and is now sitting in fourth position on the premiership with his deeds this season breaking personal records.

He has now won eight Group or Listed races since August 1, bettering his record of seven set last term, and they have come from 202 runners, as opposed to 306 in the full 2015-16 season.

He has won 32 races this season, the same number of black-type winners he has won since he began training in 2002, and he is well on the way to bettering his seasonal record of 54, achieved in the 2014-15 term.

Thee Auld Floozie’s win took his stable’s prizemoney tally to $1,134,905, eclipsing his previous best New Zealand stake-money tally for a season set in 2012-13 when his stable won $1,078,275 with Ruud Awakening providing a couple of highlights when taking the Diamond Stakes and Karaka Million.

Last season the Marsh team won $1,064,760 in New Zealand prizemoney, but thanks to the Gr.1 ATC Oaks win of Sofia Rosa in Sydney the total figure exceeded $1.8 million.

During his three-year partnership with his father, Marsh enjoyed Group One success with Russian Pearl (Bayer Classic) and Hail (Zabeel Classic) and celebrated a win in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic with Play On.

When Bruce Marsh moved to Singapore in 2005, he branched out on his own account with 94 wins as a training partner and met with immediate success with multiple black-type winners Chettak and Thee Auld Hussie, while Anca raised his profile in Australia with success in Brisbane.

Thee Auld Hussie is still helping boost Marsh’s profile, being the dam of Thee Auld Floozie. Thee Auld Hussie won a couple of Listed races, the Manawatu Breeders Stakes and Marton 1600 in 2007, and was stakes placed a half dozen times.

Rosie Myers showing her delight when winning her third Thorndon Mile on a Cambridge horse, Thee Auld Floozie.

Rosie Myers showing her delight when winning her third Thorndon Mile on a Cambridge horse, Thee Auld Floozie.

Both Thee Auld Floozie and Three Auld Hussie were bred by John Young, who has enjoyed much success with the family over the years.

Thee Auld Dragon, Thee Auld Floozie’s third dam, was runner-up in the 1999 Gr.1 2000 Guineas (behind Buzz Lightyear) after finishing third four days earlier behind Ad Alta in the Gr.1 1000 Guineas. Those performances followed her win in the 1999 Desert Gold Stakes.

The family traces back to Highland Dale, Thee Auld Floozie’s fifth dam who won the inaugural White Horse Whisky race for grey horses at Te Rapa in 1981 when trained by Graham Pepper and ridden by the late Phillip Alderman.

Young and his wife, Sue, race Thee Auld Floozie in partnership with a group of owners which include Marsh and some of his other stable stalwarts, among them Ali and Helen Cunningham.

“It’s great for John and Sue Young who have been great supporters of mine since back in our Woodville days,” he said.

Marsh was overwhelmed with congratulations after Thee Auld Floozie’s win yesterday, much of the back-slapping and kissing coming from the five-year-old mare’s owners.

“We’ve got a lot of owners here who have come from far and wide,” he said. “We had four runners who I thought all deserved their chance and I’m just rapt one of them got the win.”

Thee Auld Floozie had won eight of her previous 26 starts with her highlights before yesterday coming with her wins in the Gr.3 McKee Family Sunline Vase and Listed J. Swap Contractors 1400.

She went into yesterday’s event with a last-start second behind stablemate Seize The Moment in the Gr.3 Anniversary Handicap at Trentham a fortnight earlier and turned the tables. Seize The Moment finished 11th, while the other two stablemates Serious Satire and Rudd Not Too finished an eye-catching fifth and 13th respectively.

Thee Auld Floozie was ridden a treat by Rosie Myers, who notched her fifth Group One win with three of them being in the Thorndon Mile.

Myers’ first Group One win was at Trentham in the 2011 NZ Oaks on Midnight Oil from the Cambridge stable of Paul Duncan, then she won the Thorndon Mile on the stablemate Say No More, on whom she also won the Gr.1 NZ Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes at Te Aroha. Her second Thorndon Mile success was also for a Cambridge stable, aboard the Gary Alton-trained Historian in 2013.

Myers had Thee Auld Floozie travelling sweetly on the inside and stuck to the rail turning for home. That ground-saving move saw her loom large on straightening and Myers then angled her mount around the leader and within a flash they were clear in front.

“She got to the front easily and I was a bit worried, because Stephen told me not to go to the front too soon, but she did it really well,” said Myers after Thee Auld Floozie held out the fast-finishing outsider Prince Of Passion to win by a length and a half.