Marsh seeking confidence-booster in Sarten

Ugo Foscolo, sporting the Cancer Society Daffodil colours, in winning action at Hastings.

Ugo Foscolo, sporting the Cancer Society Daffodil colours, in winning action at Hastings.

An erratic display from Ugo Foscolo at Hastings has forced a change to his three-year-old programme.

The Cambridge-trained son of Zacinto was to have had his final outing before the Gr.1 Sothys NZ 2000 Guineas in the Gr.2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas, but that plan has been shelved after he suffered the first defeat of his career.

Trainer Stephen Marsh will now look to the Gr.3 James & Annie Sarten Memorial Stakes at Te Rapa on October 24 to reignite his Riccarton preparation.

“That was terrible at Hastings – he over-raced and didn’t settle at all,” he said.

“Maybe the month between runs wasn’t ideal. I thought it would have been but we couldn’t take him straight down south with confidence off the back of that.

“He just never looked comfortable and didn’t get into any rhythm. I guess it was good to get that sort of performance out of the way before we got to Riccarton!”

Marsh said Ugo Foscolo had come through the race and the trip without incident.

“He’s fine and we’ve had blood tests taken and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with him,” he said. “We’ll press on to the Sarten and expect a quick turnaround in form and then head south with our confidence back.”

Ugo Foscolo had won all three of his previous runs, including a black-type success in last season’s Listed Hamilton Vets Equine Stakes.

He has eased out to $10 in the 2000 Guineas market following his performance at Hawke’s Bay.

– NZ Racing Desk.