IN Racing
Marsh to have strong presence in Dunstan Stayers final
Stephen Marsh will take a strong hand into Ellerslie on New Year’s day after producing a winning double at Te Rapa.
NZ Racing Desk | December 18, 2021
Oneoutofthebox. Photo: Trish Dunell

Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh will take a strong hand into one of the features at Ellerslie on New Year’s day after producing a winning double midway through the meeting at Te Rapa on Saturday.

The Marsh-trained Oneoutofthebox proved too tough in a slogging finish to the Lodge Commercial 2100m, while stablemate Chakana enhanced her impressive form line with a comprehensive victory in the Dunstan Feeds Stayers Championship Qualifier (2100m) just one race later.

Both horses are nominated for the $100,000 Dunstan Feeds Stayers Championship Final (2400m) at Ellerslie and will start amongst the favourites based on the way they finished out their Te Rapa victories.

Given an economical trip in midfield by rider Leith Innes, Oneoutofthebox followed race favourite Spirit Of Bazz into the race before joining issue at the 200m as he out finished the favourite and stablemate Oso Savvy to claim his second victory at just his ninth start.

However, it was four-year-old Reliable Man mare Chakana who impressed most as she delivered her third win from her last four starts with a classical staying performance for rider Taiki Yanagida, that despite some wayward tendencies, saw her surge clear in the home straight to win by a comfortable two length margin.

Marsh was delighted with both of his winners who he confirmed will now head to Ellerslie on January 1.

“That was just fantastic and gives me quite a strong hand in the Dunstan Final on paper,” he said.

“I might even have one or two more in the race as Oso Savvy could sneak in and although Global Currency was a little disappointing when running seventh in behind Chakana, he might still be a chance.

“Races like the Dunstan Final are the ones we target as the prizemoney is very good for this class of horse and it promises to be a ripper of a contest.”

Marsh was quick to praise both Innes and Yanagida after both riders made light of awkward barrier draws in their respective events.

“I thought both rides were fantastic as Leith had Oneoutofthebox beautifully on the rail and just lobbing along before tracking into the race at just the right time,” he said.

“He actually said he got to the front a little early as the horse thought he had done his job at the 100m and tried to ease up.
“Chakana started from barrier 13 of 14 and Taiki gave her a perfect trip once he got her settled.

“She probably should be unbeaten in her last four as it was only the very heavy nature of the track at Matamata that cost her when she ran fourth,
“She is a very progressive mare who will just lap up the 2400m at Ellerslie and she is going into the race at the peak of her form.”

By Wellfield Stud resident stallion Alamosa, Oneoutofthebox is out of the Pins mare Boxapins and is a half brother to Gr.2 Waikato Guineas (2000m) winner Xbox, while Chakana is a daughter of Bahhare mare Run To The Bank, a half-sister to Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) placegetter, Charliehorse. 

Marsh added a third win for the day as Yanagida guided promising galloper Banker’s Choice to a stunning victory over 1400m, just minutes after the stable had gone within inches of a feature race win at Awapuni when Zee Falls failed by just a nose to catch fellow Cambridge raider Marroni in the Gr.3 Humphries Construction Manawatu Cup (2250m).