IN Racing
Marsh on the brink of special milestone
Trainer Stephen Marsh continued his march towards a 100-win season.
NZ Racing Desk | July 03, 2022
El Noir. Photo: Trish Dunell

Trainer Stephen Marsh continued his march towards a 100-win season for the first time when he secured a winning double at Ruakaka on Saturday.

Marsh saddled up impressive winners Seresin in a three-year-old 1400m contest and El Noir in a rating 74 1200m event to move to 98 wins for the season and set a new record for his Cambridge stable.

While pleased to set a new stable benchmark, he is keen to reach the magical three figure mark and fulfil a goal that he has been striving for over the past five years. 

“It is exciting times for us as the season closes out and we inch closer to our 100-win goal,” he said.

“We went past our best of 97 wins on Saturday and now we are just two short of a mark that I have been keen to get to for a few years now.

“When you look at the trainer records over the years, not that many have got to 100 wins so to do that would be a bit of a feather in our cap.

“We are also getting close to the $3 million mark for prizemoney won ($2.858m) so I’m hoping I can knock that one off as well and if we can, then we have had a really great year.”

Marsh was delighted with both of his Saturday winners, who are likely to be seen back in action at the same venue in a fortnight.

“I thought Seresin deserved that win as he was beaten by a very smart horse (Smart Rocks) last time and never stopped trying that day,” he said.

“Michael (McNab) took luck out of the equation and sent him to the front and he was too strong in the run home.

“He got away from them near the end and I think he will be just as good stepping up to a mile.

“There is a mile for the three-year-olds on Winter Championship Finals Day back up there (Ruakaka) in a fortnight, so that will be his next target.

“It was also great to see El Noir back to her best as she hasn’t had a lot of favours lately in her races.

“She will go to a rating 74 1200m on Finals Day as the other option is the open 1400m which I think might be a bit rich for her at the moment.

“She will still be well placed in the rating 74 event and the drop back to 1200m won’t be a problem for her.”

Marsh has three runners engaged at his home meeting at Cambridge on Wednesday and is hoping he can pick up another win to move closer to his goal.

“I have three in on Wednesday and they should all be prominent,” he said.

“Bloom is in the three-year-old maiden 1550m and with the good draw I expect her to run well as she was very unlucky last time on the track.

“Epiphany goes over 970m and she hasn’t had much luck either while Bourbon Cure in the maiden 2000m race could be my best chance.”

Bourbon Cure is raced by American horseman Dennis Foster and a group of his US based friends and businessmen, with Marsh set to spend a week with Foster in the US at the end of the month.

The duo struck up an acquaintance when Foster and his friends purchased four yearlings at the Karaka yearling sale in association with Marsh in 2019, including exciting Darci Brahma colt Bourbonaire who was narrowly beaten in the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) by Aegon before being sold to Hong Kong interests. 

Now prepared by John Size, Bourbonaire won his first race from his new quarters when running out a six-length winner at Sha Tin on Friday. 

“It will be great to head up to the States and catch up with Dennis as he hasn’t been able to get down here for three years now due to the COVID situation,” Marsh said.

“We’ve had some great success for him and his mates with the Bourbon horses so when I got the chance to spend a week up there, I jumped at it as it will be a perfect way to finish off a tremendous year for the stable.”

Stephen Marsh El Noir Seresin Michael McNab Epiphany Dennis Foster Bourbon Cure