Maybe more success before trainer returns

El Duque taking the Stephen Marsh stable tally to three while he is enjoying an overseas holiday.

El Duque when taking the Stephen Marsh stable tally to three while he is enjoying an overseas holiday.

Stephen Marsh left his stable in safe hands when he jetted off for an overseas break.

The Cambridge trainer left for Europe earlier this month with his partner Danielle Johnson, who was invited to ride in a female riders’ series in Sweden.

The holiday extended to London and the south of France before returning home to New Zealand next week.

In Marsh’s absence, the stable’s tally for the season has continued to tick over.

“We’ve been pretty lucky and we’ve had five winners so far – that will be helping Stephen to relax!” said foreman Rhys Mildon.

Among the recent success stories has been the promising winter performer El Duque, who has won three of his seven starts and all of them on heavy ground.

“He’ll head to Te Rapa on Saturday week as will Our Patriarch, who was a good fresh-up winner at Avondale, and Barbaric,” said Mildon.

Barbaric, who has won four races on the Hamilton course including the Listed Legacy Lodge Sprint, was unplaced when he resumed at Ruakaka at his latest appearance.

“If it had been left-handed it would have been fine, he just struggles right-handed,” said Mildon.

Meanwhile, Ugo Foscolo, one of the potential stars of the team for next season, is back in work and going through his early paces ahead of his spring campaign.

“He’s grown and is stronger and he’s looking fantastic,” said Mildon. “He’ll probably be ready for the second set of trials at Te Teko and then head off to Hastings for his fresh-up run.”

Ugo Foscolo, whose target is the Gr. 1 NZ 2000 Guineas, followed up his debut win at Rotorua with victory in the Listed Hamilton Vets Equine Stakes at Te Rapa.

Another stablemate, stakes performer Girlsarebackintown, has drawn attention to her upcoming prospects with a smart trial win.

The Listed Champagne Stakes placegetter was successful in her 1000-metre heat at Ellerslie yesterday for rider Sam Spratt.

“We’re looking at kicking her off in a Rating 65 over 1200 metres at Tauranga next week, as long as the track isn’t bottomless,” said Mildon.

“She’s come up well and hopefully we can get to some nice races at Hastings later on.”

– NZ Racing Desk.