A pair of highly regarded fillies from Stephen Marsh’s stable will go head-to-head at Te Rapa on Saturday when they chase black type honours to end their juvenile preparations.
The well-related duo of multiple placegetter Academy Award and first starter Mazzolino will clash in the Listed Waikato Equine Veterinary Centre 2YO Stakes (1100m).
“They both galloped really well this morning so we’ll give them their chances at some black type. They are both lovely fillies and will head to the paddock after that and I do think they will make really nice three-year-olds,” Marsh said.
Academy Award, who will be ridden by Michael McNab, was runner-up on debut at Hawera and the daughter of Star Turn and three-time stakes winner Dubleanny then finished third last time out at Te Rapa.
The Waikato Stud-bred and raced Savabeel filly Mazzolino, a grand-daughter of multiple Group One winner Daffodil, has placed in all three trials ans will be partnered by jockey Craig Grylls.
“Craig has got on well with Mazzolino at the trials and Michael rode Academy Award when she was second so I just went that way, they didn’t have the option,” Marsh said.
Meanwhile, Marsh will send three members of his team to Brisbane on Friday, but only two of them will be returning to his Cambridge operation following their offshore exploits.
Chakana and El Vencedor are on temporary tours of duty at the Queensland winter carnival while Iconic Star will make a sole appearance before she is offered at auction on the Gold Coast.
Reliable Man four-year-old Chakana won three races during her last campaign and, after working home late for sixth at Pukekohe when resuming last month, is on a path toward claiming Australian black type honours.
“Chakana will kick off next week in a Class 4 over 1800m at the Gold Coast and the plan then is to run her on May 28 over 2200m at Eagle Farm,” Marsh said.
As long as the mare is racing up to expectations, the focus will be on starts in the Listed Ipswich Cup (2150m) on June 18 and the Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m) a fortnight later.
El Vencedor has won his last appearances at Awapuni and Pukekohe and the son of Shocking will make his Australian debut on May 14 in a three-year-old set weight event over 1400m at Doomben.
“We would then like to get him to Eagle Farm a fortnight later for a Group Three (Fred Best Classic, 1400m), also over 1400m,” Marsh said.
“If he is going really well and looks like he will get a mile, we will run him two weeks later in the Gr.3 Gunsynd Classic (1600m) at Eagle Farm.”
Iconic Star will make her only carnival start in the Listed Bright Shadow Quality (1100m) at Doomben on Saturday week.
“She will be sold after that on the Gold Coast. We were only ever going to race her for 12 months and try and get some black type and have her back at the sale, that was the plan the whole way through,” Marsh said.
The daughter of Brazen Beau was purchased for A$60,000 by Marsh as a multiple winner and she has since added two further victories to her record and placed in the Gr.3 Concorde Handicap (1200m) and the Gr.3 King’s Plate (1200m).