Stephen Marsh looking to Akoya to continue the good run

Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh is riding high in sixth position on the trainers’ premiership and is looking to capitalise on ample opportunities in the coming days.

With 25 winners to his credit already this season, including a Wednesday double at Rotorua courtesy of Miss Rippy and Invite Only, Marsh is well on track to usurping his previous season-best tally of 54 from the 2014-15 season.

He has a formidable team racing at Taupo on Saturday, headed by talented filly Sophie’s Choice and impressive last-start Hastings winner Akoya, who tackles the Book Direct At Beechtree Motel Sprint (1200m).

“Akoya was good at Hastings,” Marsh said of the Joan Egan-bred and raced Bullbars four-year-old mare, who took her record to three wins from seven starts.

“She wasn’t totally at home on the surface, with the track having had a bit of rain on it. She’d been off the scene for a while and I’d given her three trials to get ready so she was well-prepared to go a good race. She did really well with that spell and just needed those trials to get her up and running.

“She beat Straight Sets at Hastings and meets him again on Saturday. It’s a six-horse field around a tight-turning track so it looks a nice race for her. Eventually, I think she’ll make a nice mare over 1400m.”

Sophie’s Choice contests the Kinloch 1200 Fastrack (1200m), with Marsh expecting a bold run from the Go Racing-syndicated Darci Brahma three-year-old filly, who finished midfield in this year’s Karaka Million (1200m) at Ellerslie.

“She’s coming up enormous. She’s drawn two and trialled up really well the other day. Hopefully she goes well and we can look at some black-type options for her,” Marsh said, adding he was considering next month’s Listed Gore Guineas (1335m) as a possible target.

Marsh’s other Taupo entries are Vickezzlepin and Firefly and first-starters I Am Queen and Pierina.

“The first starters both go really well,” Marsh said

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