IN Racing
Skyman looking for first NZ win
"His condition looks great. I think he looks a lot better going into this race than he did the Thorndon.”
LOVERACING.NZ News Desk | February 09, 2024
Skyman will contest the Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa on Saturday. Photo: Kenton Wright (Race Images)

European import Skyman will be aiming to record his first New Zealand win when he heads to Te Rapa on Saturday to contest the Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m).

Previously based with Champion Sydney trainer Chris Waller, Skyman has won nine races, including four at stakes level, and more than A$1 million in prizemoney. Earlier this season he finished runner-up behind subsequent A$10 million Golden Eagle (1500m) runner-up Pericles in the Gr.2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) and third in the Gr.3 Craven Plate (1800m) and Listed Ladies Day Cup (1500m).

He joined Stephen Marsh’s Cambridge barn in December last year and made his New Zealand debut in the Gr.1 Thorndon Mile (1600m) at Trentham last month, carrying syndicator Go Racing’s silks to fifth, and in the process became eligible to chase the $500,000 Summer Series bonus.

He will head to the third leg of the series at Te Rapa on Saturday to try and add to the two series points he accrued in Thorndon Mile, and Marsh believes he will be suited by the 2000m.

“I really liked his last run,” Marsh told TAB NZ. “He wasn’t at home on the wettish track, but he has come on brilliantly. I think the 2000m should really suit.

“He looks really good, he has just thrived since that run. I think it has brought him on nicely. His condition looks great. I think he looks a lot better going into this race than he did the Thorndon.”

Marsh will also line-up the Waikato Stud-bred and raced Mazzolino who will shortly head to the broodmare paddock after being confirmed in-foal to Waikato’s resident sire Super Seth.

The impeccably bred daughter of Savabeel is a full-sister to Go Racing’s multiple Group One-winner Atishu, and the Chittick family would dearly love to get a Group One result with their mare before her raceday retirement.

The Group Three winner came close when fourth in the Gr.1 Levin Classic (1600m) and Gr.1 Zabeel Classic (2050m).

Mazzalino has since finished seventh in the Gr.3 Trentham Stakes (2100m) last month and Marsh is expecting an improved result in Saturday’s $600,000 feature.

“She looks outstanding,” Marsh said. “Last start in the Trentham Stakes I think they ran so hard, it didn’t really suit her. It had her out of her comfort zone the whole way.

“Usually in these races at weight-for-age they don’t usually run anywhere as quick. She should get a much better run.

“The start before at Group One weight-for-age was great running fourth.

“It is obviously a very good field but these two are top quality and deserve their chance.”

Stephen Marsh Skyman Mazzolino Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes