Stablemates Burn To Shine and Codigo will continue their friendly rivalry on their return to Hastings on Saturday.
The Stephen Marsh-trained duo will clash in the Gr.2 AHD Animal Health Direct – Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m) and while both are in tip-top order for the age group feature, the rain-affected going is a concern.
“It’s far from ideal for either of them, but they need to run and are on exactly the same path to the 2000 Guineas (Gr.1, 1600m),” Marsh said.
“They’ll have a go at Hastings and then the Sarten Memorial (Gr.2, 1400m) before they get on a plane to Christchurch.”
Burn To Shine and Codigo first met on the opening day of the Hawke’s Bay carnival in the Listed El Roca – Sir Colin Meads Trophy (1200m) with the former finishing runner-up and the latter ran fourth.
“Burn To Shine just didn’t really get out when he needed to and the 1200m was a bit short for him, but he attacked the line well,” Marsh said.
“Codigo was three wide without any cover and he fought on really well.”
While pair do have form on rain-affected surfaces, they won’t strike their preferred conditions at Hastings.
“They’re certainly no duffers, that’s for sure, but I think they are far better on top of the ground and we’re all in the same boat,” Marsh said.
“They are very hard to split and went equally as good as each other at their last starts and I think it comes down to who gets the best run and who cops the track the best.
“They have both drawn nicely and I would have loved to have seen a good track for them to have had a fair crack at it.”
Marsh will have several representatives at Hastings and also rates Financier in the Colliers Commercial HB Premier (1400m) as a leading hope off the back of successive runner-up finishes.
“I really like Financier, he’s probably a little bit of an unknown on the wet track but he is going great guns and as long as it’s not bottomless I think he will be hard to beat,” he said.
The stable also has strong representation at Te Rapa on Friday with another pair of promising youngsters in Tower Flypass and Sako in the St John’s College Foundation 3YO (1200m).
“Again, the track will be a bit tricky but they both went really well last time,” Marsh said.
Stakes-placed filly Glamour Tycoon also looks well -placed to take advantage of a drop in class when she steps out in the BCD Group 3YO Maiden (1400m) following her game sixth in the Gr.3 Gold Trail Stakes (1200m).
“Glamour Tycoon is going terrific and she has drawn a bit of a sticky gate (16), but the distance suits her and with the rain the draw may not be so bad later in the day,” Marsh said.
He is further expecting a good showing from last season’s Gr.3 Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) winner Mazzolino in the Traffic Management Waikato Handicap (1400m).
The daughter of Savabeel finished midfield when resuming at Hastings earlier this month.
“The track won’t worry her too much, but she does have to carry 58kg second-up. She is a quick improver off her last start, although she will improve again with this outing,” Marsh said.