IN Racing
Marsh hoping to spring a Foxbridge Plate upset
Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh goes into Saturday's Gr.2 Waikato Stud Foxbridge Plate (1200m) at Te Rapa quietly confident he can spring a surprise with his runners El Vencedor and Jodelin Gal.
Aidan Rodley, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk | August 25, 2023
Photo: Race Images

Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh goes into Saturday's Gr.2 Waikato Stud Foxbridge Plate (1200m) at Te Rapa quietly confident he can spring a surprise with his runners El Vencedor and Jodelin Gal.

Neither of Marsh's horses have found favour with TAB bookmakers, who are offering $15 on El Vencedor and $31 on Jodelin Gal in a market headed by Dragon Leap and Skew Wiff at $4.80.

But buoyed by smart trackwork gallops in the past week, Marsh goes into the race with a fair degree of confidence.

El Vencedor and Jodelin Gal had their main leadup gallops last Saturday but Marsh was just as pleased with their trackwork on the No.4 grass at Cambridge on Wednesday morning.

"They worked great, especially through the line and they've pulled up perfectly," he said.

"They are right on track for Saturday. Hopefully we're running on a Slow 7 and if they can get runs to suit, they should be competitive."

Five-year-old Shocking gelding El Vencedor has won five of his 21 starts and was three times stakes-place at sprint trips last season.

"He went out on the back of a nice win at Hawke's Bay and he's come up really well," Marsh said.

"We brought him back in at the end of May and we've given him a nice, slow buildup. He's quite a big, robust boy."

El Vencedor has trialled twice leading into the Foxbridge Plate, finishing second to last year's winner and multiple Group One-winning sprinter Imperatriz over 900m at Te Rapa before a 4 3/4 length Avondale trial win over 1000m last week.

"His two trials have been terrific. His last trial at Avondale he won very well on probably a track that wasn't ideal for him," Marsh said.

"His buildup has been perfect and we can't fault the way he's going into this race. We've always looked to kick him off in the Foxbridge before we go on to the first leg at Hawke's Bay and we wanted him pretty ready to go, hence why we've given him the two trials. 

"We gave him a good push out in the last trial and his work has been very good since and I think he's forward enough for a good showing.

"It's a nice field, a pretty even field, but I think he's up to it. He's always shown us a heap of ability but he's taken a little bit to mature and his racing manners let him down a little early on but we saw enough from him in his last campaign to say he should be up to this."

Swiss Ace seven-year-old mare Jodelin Gal goes into the Foxbridge with more race fitness on her side.

At her third run back at Te Rapa last start, she claimed her seventh win from 23 starts with a gritty performance.

"It was a really good win. She was down in the worst part of the track. She got back but she really attacked the line well to get up by a small margin," Marsh said.

"Her form before that was good too. She showed when she ran second at Ruakaka two starts back that she was just starting to hit form again. She's bounced through that last win and she's a classy mare. The improved track should really suit her as well."

Saturday looms as a busy day for Marsh, who has 10 horses entered for Te Rapa, among them promising Written Tycoon filly Glamour Tycoon resuming in the Banquo 3yo (1200m).

"Her two runs last year were really good. She's still not fully mature but she's really promising. She's got a fair bit of class and she's looks our best chance on the day," Marsh said, suggesting Burn To Shine and Financier were horses to follow for the spring.

"It's exciting to get back to Te Rapa with the rail in the true position. They haven't used that inside ground for a while and the weather looks like it's playing its part so I think we'll get back to a decent track and it will be great racing." 

El Vencedor Foxbridge Plate Jodelin Gal Stephen Marsh