Team churns out winners while boss away

Our Patriarch (Michael Coleman) getting up in the last stride to win at Avondale today.

Our Patriarch (Michael Coleman) getting up in the last stride to win at Avondale today.

As Stephen Marsh is winging his way around the UK and Europe, it’s all systems go back at his stable with the winning flow continuing.

Our Patriarch became the second winner for the stable since Marsh and his partner, Danielle Johnson, left for their overseas stint and his win at Avondale came as no surprise to “the boss.”

“Stephen said before he left he would be our first winner while he was away,” said stable foreman, Rhys Mildon.

Marsh wasn’t far off in his call as it was actually the two-year-old Amastar who just beat Our Patriarch to the mark. The Showcasing filly followed up two trials wins with a strong debut win at Te Aroha last Sunday.

“We’ve put her (Amastar) out for 10 days and that will then give her a month to the Ryder Stakes,” said Mildon. “She’s a pretty smart filly.”

Amastar is a daughter of the talented racemare Amirar, who won five races from the stable of Jakki Good and was stakes placed when third to Herman Munster in the Listed Taumarunui Gold six years ago.

Good is now part of the Marsh team and got a great thrill from Amastar’s win. “”She’s been at her side virtually from the time she came into the stable,” said Mildon.

Our Patriarch may have struck a midweek maiden field in the Avondale mud, but there was plenty of merit in his performance. Solmization looked to “home and hosed” inside the last 200 metres of the West Brook Winery 1200 and there seemed no way Our Patriarch would get up.

But under the urgings of Michael Coleman, Our Patriarch charged down the outside to win by a neck.

“They don’t win like that,” said Mildon. “Where we were sitting in the stands I didn’t think he’d got up. It was a huge effort. He went to the line with his ears pricked.”

Our Patriarch had been placed in one of three trials before finishing seventh on debut over 1200 at Matamata last December.

“Stephen thought he could nearly win fresh-up but he raced like a lost baby,” said Mildon. “He was all over the place. He looked terrible. We tipped him out after that and he’s come back much better.

“Michael (Coleman) says he needs more ground now.”

Our Patriarch is raced by Annette Antoniadis, who bred the Iffraaj three-year-old from her good racemare Sardonyx, who won four races and was a multiple stakes placegetter from the Stephen McKee stable.

Antoniadis also raced Our Patriarch’s sister, Sardaaj from the Marsh stable. Sardaaj won two of her four starts and was second in both the Gr. 2 Eight Carat Classic and Gr. 1 Levin Classic.

“Annette named this one after her father,” said Mildon. “Stephen told her he was going to be a good horse and that he was a big horse and needed a big name. “

While Marsh is enjoying his holiday, he hasn’t left his stable staff with an easy time.

The stable will have three runners at Tauranga on Saturday, two the following day at Te Awamutu and seven for Rotorua. And between times there will be nearly 20 at the jump outs on Friday.

“We’ve got a good chance to get a few more winners before he gets back in two weeks,” said Mildon.