Marching On makes up for Carpet

Last Saturday’s Ellerslie meeting saw the Cambridge centre lose a Group One race in the inquiry room, but it also confirmed the promise of another talented galloper from the area.

Rollout The Carpet was first past the winning post in the Haunui Farm Diamond Stakes, but the harm she did in the home straight left no surprises that she would be relegated. And so it proved as the Group II Matamata Breeders Stakes winner was put back to second behind Warhorse, whom she had continuously impeded in the  run home when veered right to the outside fence.

But  a race earlier there was celebration for Cambridge when Marching On proved too strong in The Breeze 1200 in the hands of Sam Spratt.

Trained by Graeme Thomas and Paul Mirabelli,  Marching On has now won three of her 12 starts and picked up cheques on another five occasions.

Her connections have always had faith in her ability, but what she is doing as a sprinter is surprising them.

“Last year we thought she could be an Oaks filly, but she seems more of a sprinter,” said Thomas. “It was her breeder, Richard Moore, that suggested we keep her to 1200 and while she’s winning we’ll keep sprinting her.”

Marching On was placed in her first three starts and later last year she cleared maiden ranks over 1100 metres at New Plymouth before bolting in by five and a half lengths over 1200 at Ellerslie.

A fourth to the very talented Rasteau followed then she was second at Ellerslie on January 29, beating Allanah, who has won well since that race.

Last Saturday faced a good quality field and after being three-back on the inner she ran on strongly to score by a length and a half.

The performance impressed Spratt. “She’s got a brilliant turn of foot,” said Spratt. “I knew she would win the race a long way out.”