A pair of Classic-bound contenders for Stephen Marsh will bid to add further momentum to their Group One campaigns at Te Rapa on Friday.
The Cambridge trainer’s stable will mount a strong two-pronged attack on the Gr.2 Legacy Lodge Waikato Guineas (2000m) with the very much in-form duo of Cruz Missile and Sedaka.
Marsh, who was active during New Zealand Bloodstock’s Book 1 National Yearling Sale at Karaka, is looking toward loftier age group targets for his three-year-olds.
Savabeel’s son Cruz Missile has the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) as his grand final while Sedaka, also by the champion stallion, is on a path toward either the Derby or the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand Oaks (2400m).
To be ridden by Vinnie Colgan, Cruz Missile broke his maiden two runs back over 1560m at Rotorua at his third start and then successfully stepped up in trip and class to claim the Listed Gingernuts Salver (2100m) at Pukekohe.
“He’s a lovely horse and we backed him up 10 days later to get him up over ground and he won that really nicely,” Marsh said.
“The ground will be the real concern, he has had one go on a heavy track and didn’t like it but he is the ideal Derby candidate.”
Sedaka didn’t have the best of luck when unplaced in the Gr.3 Eulogy Stakes (1600m) before she showed her true worth on her return to Te Rapa with a bold effort to finish runner-up in the Gr.2 Royal Stakes (2000m) on New Year’s Day.
“She’s doing well and we’ll keep our options open, she’s got nominations for both the Derby and the Oaks and we’ll work it out as we go along,” said Marsh, who has booked Sam Spratt for the ride.
“Again, she’s not really at home on a wet track either. The weather has just been disastrous.”
During an outstanding Book 1 session at Karaka, Marsh and partners were busy with $2 million outlaid on six fillies and four colts.
The most expensive secured is a son well-related son of exciting first season sire Super Seth from breeder Waikato Stud’s draft for $380,000.
Lot 191 is a half-brother to Savabeel’s top-end performer Mo’Unga, winner of the Gr.1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and the Gr.1 Winx Stakes (1400m).
“We have bought really well and are very excited, we’ve got more than we ever have and a great line of horses, that’s for sure,” Marsh said.
“The half-brother to Mo’Unga is a beautiful colt and he’s by an exciting new season stallion in Super Seth.
“We thought we got him for a really good price, he is a real beauty.”
The most expensive filly to be joining the Marsh stable is Lot 211, a Christopher Grace-bred daughter of Almanzor bought out of the Little Avondale Stud draft for $260,000.
She is from of a half-sister to the Gr.2 Wellington Cup (3200m) winner Graphic and the family of stakes-winning mares Hinemoa, Hinerangi and Lady Annaliese.