Stephen Marsh may not have a runner in the Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) at Ellerslie on Saturday, but he has doubled down on the Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m).
The Cambridge trainer will be represented by Miss Ella and Leading Man in the rich feature and he is particularly excited about the former’s chances after her 9-3/4 length victory at Rotorua last month.
“The blinkers really switched her on (at Rotorua). We have always thought a lot of her and I think she has gone right ahead from that run as well,” Marsh said.
“She is going super and her work has been good.
“Michael (McNab, jockey) came in and galloped her on Tuesday, she has been up to Auckland for a gallop.
“The draw (1) is perfect and she is going to put herself up on the speed and I think she is a real chance in this race.”
Marsh will also be represented by Leading Man who will be ridden from gate 13 by Matt Cameron.
“He is going along alright,” Marsh said. “It is more of a throw at the stumps with him. The race is $1 million and we qualify for it, so we are having a go.
“He has drawn out a bit but he will run some sort of race, but we are just hopeful there.”
Marsh is also looking forward to lining up last start winner Iconic Star in the Gr.3 Brighthill Farm Eminent First Yearlings Concorde Handicap (1200m).
“She gets into this race on the minimum (53kg) and she has drawn (7) out a little bit but she has got very good early gate speed. She will go forward,” Marsh said.
“We bought her from Australia from a tried sale and would love to get a bit of black-type here and then sell her back on the Gold Coast in June.
“That is the plan and her work has been very good.”