Sofia Rosa on track to strike back in autumn

Sofia Rosa (Hugh Bowman) winning the Australian Oaks.

Sofia Rosa (Hugh Bowman) winning the Gr.1 Australian Oaks.

The sight of the Gr.1 Australian Oaks winner Sofia Rosa blooming in the paddock has helped ease the disappointment Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh felt at losing the classic winner Ugo Foscolo from his stable.

The daughter of Makfi will return to work early next month and Marsh was thrilled when he inspected the mare last weekend.

“She has done tremendously well and looks amazing,” he said. “I was thrilled to bits and she looks back to where she was.”

Sofia Rosa won three Group races as a three-year-old. She was relegated from first to second in the Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks before recording a decisive win the Australian Oaks at Randwick.

She was high on the early betting markets for the Gr.1 Caulfield Cup, but failed to come up in the spring and was put aside after three starts in Melbourne.

“She just didn’t thrive in the spring and never lost her [winter] coat at all,” said Marsh.

“She didn’t do that well as a spring three-year-old either, but really came right in the autumn and I can’t see any reason why she won’t do the same this season.

“We will leave her out for a bit longer and then work out an autumn programme for her. She will probably kick off here somewhere and then most likely head to Sydney.”

Ugo Foscolo, an impressive winner of the Gr.1 NZ 2000 Guineas at Riccarton, has had a change of ownership and will do his future racing for Sydney trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott.

“It was simply a business decision, but it’s always disappointing to lose a horse as good as that,” said Marsh. “I hope he comes up well for them but horses like him are hard to replace.”

– NZ Racing Desk.