Marsh keen on stakes success for honest mare

Stephen Marsh
Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh. Photo: Trish Dunell

Trainer Stephen Marsh believes Belle Fascino is deserving of success at black type level and will look to achieve that with the seven-year-old mare at Riccarton this weekend. The daughter of Per Incanto heads into Saturday’s Listed Speight’s Timaru Stakes (1400m) off the back of a last start victory at her favourite Riccarton venue, a track where she has won three times since relocating from Marsh’s Cambridge base at the start of the 2019 racing season.

A change of tactics and the application of blinkers for her last run saw Belle Fascino lead all-the-way over 1600m, with Marsh keen to see her show further improvement on that performance. “We put the blinkers on last time, fired her out of the gates, sent her to the front and she won very well,” he said.

“She just looked a little bit more on the job with the blinkers applied. “She has bounced out of that race well and I would dearly love to get some winning black type with her. “She has three black type placings, so I think she deserves to put a stakes win on her record, which would make her as a broodmare. “I’m confident she will go well and a mare in form is hard to beat, so she should be very competitive.”

Marsh has three other runners entered on the day although a wide draw could see Pentire gelding Effervescent reserved for another day. “Exuberant has finally drawn a good barrier and will go very well,” Marsh said. “Jojo Roxx is fresh-up and will take good improvement, but should hit the line well, while Effervescent has drawn the carpark so he may not run.”

Marsh has been at Karaka on each day of the National Yearling Sale this week, signing for six yearlings from the Book 1 session including Lot 339, a Belardo colt from the family of Kranji Sprint (1200m) winner El Milagro for American horseman Dennis Foster.

Foster and a group of US based friends and businessmen, who race under the Bourbon Lane banner, purchased four yearlings in association with Marsh in 2019, including exciting Darci Brahma colt Bourbonaire who was narrowly beaten in the Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) by Aegon before being sold to Hong Kong interests.

Foster has backed Marsh again this year, taking a significant share in each of the six Book 1 yearlings. “It’s been a busy time at the sales and we’ve stepped out this year and bought six for ourselves,” Marsh said. “We’ve had massive support from Dennis Foster and the Bourbon Lane stable as they have taken shares in every horse that we have bought along with other long-term clients.

“It made our job a lot easier when Dennis called and said he would take 30 percent in everything and 75 percent in the Belardo colt. “When we sold Bourbonaire they were cashed up and they have come again this year which is great for my stable and New Zealand racing.”

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