News In Brief
Marsh rings the changes
Stephen Marsh has made a couple of key changes with Sofia Rosa in next Monday’s Gr.2 Laser Plumbing Te Puke Avondale Cup (2400m) at Ellerslie.
Michael Coleman replaces Danielle Johnson in the saddle and the in-foal Makfi mare will wear a one-cup off-side blinker to make her concentrate more.
“She's going really well,” Marsh said. “She hit the line as well as anything in the Zabeel Classic and she's well off in the handicaps. She should be hard to beat.”
Marsh has withdrawn Rocanto from the Gr.1 Sistema Railway Stakes (1200m), but will shoot for back-to-back Gr.2 Rich Hill Mile (1600m) wins with Ruud Not Too while Mark Two could contest the Gr.2 Stella Artois Royal Stakes (2000m).
Ellerslie return for Ever Loyal
Group One performer Ever Loyal will return to Ellerslie for his next outing.
“He’ll head to the three-year-old race over 1500m on January 14 before the Karaka 3YO Classic,” trainer Tony Pike said.
Placed in the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m), Ever Loyal raced greenly when runner-up at Ellerslie on Boxing Day.
“He’s still a work in progress,” Pike said. “He’s a very, very talented galloper and there’s improvement to come.”
Trial option for Group One star
Allan Sharrock is considering a trip away as part of Kawi’s preparation for next month’s Gr.1 JR & N Berkett Telegraph (1200m) at Trentham.
“He’s flying again and I may trial him at Cambridge on January 9,” the New Plymouth trainer said.
Kawi won the Gr.1 Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) at his last appearance and he has made a good recovery from a stone bruise that ruled out a planned start in the Gr.2 Manawatu Challenge Stakes (1400m) at Awapuni.