Cambridge-trainer Stephen Marsh had cause for celebration after having a treble of wins, including the feature race at Wanganui on Saturday.
Following his unbeaten trial form, Sai Fah started the day off in hard fought fashion to take out the Wanganui Steelformers 2yo Juvenile Plate 800 (800m).
“He’s so honest and just loves the game,” Marsh said.
The two-year-old entire son of Rios looked beaten at the 200m mark, but he dug deep and fought hard to regain the lead from First Rock to snatch the victory by half-a-length.
“I thought it was a very game run as he looked well and truly beaten at the furlong and especially at the 100m,” Marsh said. “He kicked back good and you love those horses that put one hundred and twenty percent in every time.”
Marsh has been training by himself for around 12 years and is known for not pushing his two-years-old hard, Sai Fah will be the first two-year-old he has raced in the spring.
“He’s not Karaka Millions eligible but we are looking at Sunday 23rd September in the 800m sprint,” Marsh said.
Sai Fah’s long-term goal is the Hanley Formula Wellesley Stakes (1000m) in Trentham on Saturday 27th October.
There was a protest after the Marsh-trained Bobby Dazzler crossed the finish line first in the Listed HS Dyke Wanganui Guineas (1340m).
Jockey Jason Waddell was riding the second-place-getter Notabadidea and Waddell alleged that there had been interference from Bobby Dazzler, pictured, and rival jockey Danielle Johnson in the home-straight.
“I was very confident going into the room that there had been no interference,” Marsh said. “It was dismissed in about three minutes.”
Marsh was full of praise for the three-year-old son of Zed. “He won very good,” Marsh said. “He is just a genuine horse.”
There are no immediate plans for Bobby Dazzler, but his target is the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai 46th New Zealand 2000 Guineas in Riccarton on Saturday 10th November.
“We’re not sure which path we will take,” Marsh said. “We might bypass the Hawkes Bay Guineas, we might not.”
Thee Old Cougar, relation to the recently retired Marsh stable-favourite Thee Auld Floozie, ended the day on a high note when she was victorious in the Dave Hoskin Carriers 1600 (1600m).
The four-year-old daughter of Rip Van Winkle is now the winner of two races from five starts. “She’s a very honest mare,” Marsh said.
Marsh is looking at taking her through the grades.
“We’re not looking at anything ambitious at the moment,” Marsh said. “Her target will be autumn.”
Team Marsh have five starters in at Matamata on Wednesday.
Race One: Chiara.
“Chiara is fresh-up and has drawn barrier one, “Marsh said. “She could give a cheeky gun run even though 1400m is shorter than her usual.”
Race Two: Socialights and Artic Lady.
“Socialights showed good form as a two-year-old and I look forward to her three-year-old campaign,” Marsh said.
“Artic Lady is first up, and she will improve with the run,” Marsh said.
Race Five: Atomic Blast.
“The distance is a bit short for him, but he will take a lot from the run,” Marsh said.
Race Six: Shadow Dancer.
“Shadow Dancer trialled nicely, and we have added side winkers. She looks to be our most forward of the day,” Marsh said.