Marsh reaches goal with Flyer

Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh capped his best season when the oldtimer Pycok Flyer proved too strong for his rivals in the Coupland’s Bakeries Ltd 1600 at Oamaru last Sunday.

Pycok Flyer, now a winner of 10 races, credited Marsh with his 30th success for the current season. “To get to 30 wins was the goal from the start of the season,” he said.” That’s the most wins I’ve had in a season training on my own.”

Marsh did get to 29 wins in the 2006-07 term and bettered 30 wins twice when training in partnership with his father, Bruce. The pair’s best tally was 39 in the 2003-04 season.

“It’s been an incredible season for me,” said Marsh. “I’ve got past $1 million in stakes for the first time and I’ve won the richest race in New Zealand (the Karaka Million) as well as a Group One with Ruud Awakening.

“Getting the $1 million is something you don’t plan for. It’s so hard to do and even when I was training with Dad (father Bruce) we couldn’t do it. He’s never done it.”

Marsh was thrilled to see Pycok Flyer return to top form. “He’s been a good old horse for the stable,” he said. “He grows another leg each year he goes down south. I thought he’d be hard to beat and the girl (Courtney Barnes) rode him well.”

Pycok Flyer will most likely have his next start in a Rating 85 1400 metres on the first day of the Grand National meeting at Riccarton on Saturday week.

Marsh could yet add to his 30-win tally as he will have runners at Te Rapa and Awapuni on Saturday and Rotorua next Wednesday. He will start the debut runner-up Zabotti in the Ryder Stakes at the Otaki meeting, while his Te Rapa entrants will be Dilly, Heart Of Darkness, Cursive and Lady Hauraki.

Zanotti was well-beaten by Cauthen at Te Rapa, but that horse looks something special,” said Marsh. “They ran a second quicker in that race than the other two-year-old race. Jonathan Parkes will ride Zanotti and I give him a chance.”

Marsh also believes each of his Te Rapa runners is capable of threatening.

“Opie (Bosson) will ride Dilly in the two-year-old race and he should be a good chance,” he said. “He went a good race for second on debut at Te Rapa when he was just beaten and he’s done well since then. He had won his two trials beforehand.”

Heart Of Darkness will be the mount of James McDonald in the Rating 85 1400 metres and won two starts ago before failing in the Listed Ag Challenge Stakes at Wanganui. “She’s had four starts at Te Rapa and won three of them and was placed (fourth) in the other one,” said Marsh.

Cursive will be ridden by Trudy Thornton in the juvenile event and was trials placed before finishing fifth on debut behind the exciting Cauthen at Te Rapa on July 3. “She’s improved with that first-up run,” said Marsh.

Making up the Te Rapa squad will be Lady Hauraki, who will be ridden by Mark Hills. “She ran fourth over 1600 metres at Ruakaka last time and won over 1400 there beforehand. She drops back to 1400 this weekend and that should suit her. “