Marsh secures international hoops

Stephen Marsh4 (640x512)Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh will link up with two of the world’s best riders when his Group-winning fillies Sofia Rosa and No More Tears tackle three-year-old features in Sydney this autumn. 

Hugh Bowman will partner Sofia Rosa in the Gr. 1 James Boags Premium Australian Oaks (2400m) on April 9, while Hong Kong-based Zac Purton will ride No More Tears in the Gr. 3 Dilmah Tea P J Bell Stakes (1200m) on April 2.

Sofia Rosa was first past the post in last week’s Gr. 1 New Zealand Oaks, but subsequently relegated to second after inconveniencing eventual winner Fanatic when laying out in the straight.

“The last 20 or 30 metres she ran out a fair way,” said Marsh (pictured). “She was perfect in the run, but whether or not it was her knocking up the last little bit I am not sure. She’s a lot better in the running now and improving all the time.”

Marsh was confident Sofia Rosa would be at her best in Sydney and believed Bowman could overcome the filly’s propensity to lay-in when racing right-handed.

“Hugh Bowman is a right handed stick rider, so I am hoping that will help a bit and he’s very keen to ride her, which is always a positive,” he said.

Sofia Rosa has strengthened since her visit to Sydney in the spring when she turned in an admirable performance when beaten less than three-lengths in the Gr. 1 Flight Stakes behind Speak Fondly.

The daughter of Makfi has since won the Gr. 2 Royal Stakes and Gr. 3 Lowland Stakes in her homeland in addition to her New Zealand Oaks placing.

Stablemate No More Tears was a last start Group Three winner at Ellerslie over 1200 metres and sports the colours of syndication group Go Racing.

“We were really pleased with her win at Ellerslie and we’ve given her a nice little freshen since that,” said Marsh. “We gave her a gallop on Tuesday morning and she’s seems bang on and any rain would just be ideal for her.”

The daughter of Darci Brahma is likely to contest the Gr. 3 Kari J H B Carr Stakes (1400m) at Randwick a fortnight later.

“There’s so many races there so whether we want to step her up to the mile or keep her at the 1400,” said Marsh.

– NZ Racing Desk