News in brief

NZ Racing Desk
19 May 2021

Marsh produces debut winner at Cambridge

Trainer Stephen Marsh claimed his first hometrack win on the new Cambridge Jockey Club polytrack with promising two-year-old Fiscal Fun who was making her debut in the 970m juvenile event.

A winner and runner-up at her two trials at the track earlier this year, Fiscal Fun jumped smartly from the inside gate with jockey Danielle Johnson sticking to the rails before kicking on in the straight and holding off the challenge from Red Vienna to win by three-quarters of a length.

Marsh was happy with the effort from the daughter of Zacinto and will keep an eye on track conditions over the winter when planning her next target.

“I was actually quite excited about that. It was a real thrill and it’s nice to get the first winner on the home track,” he said.

“She is a lovely filly and has had two trials for a second and first and keeps stepping up.

“They went hard and Danielle half sat off them a little bit and she was strong to the line.

“She is a purpose built, strong running filly and we might kick her on a little bit further but she probably doesn’t want those wet tracks so we will keep an eye on that.”

Johnson was equally impressed with Fiscal Fun and praised the filly’s raceday manners.

“It was good,” she said. “They attacked me and lucky enough she is so quiet and came back to me so I sat off a length inside them.

“They burnt their chocolates and she saved hers and kicked around the corner. She is a real little racehorse. She is pretty unassuming and does everything you ask of her so there is plenty more.”

Marsh later saddled Taupo Missy to win the seventh race, providing him with a double on the opening day of racing at the Cambridge track.


Ayrton hits the road to Queensland

Promising three-year-old Ayrton will be floated to Queensland from Melbourne to take his place in the Gr.3 Fred Best Classic (1400m) at Doomben.

The Mick Price & Michael Kent Jr-trained galloper was due to fly to Queensland on Tuesday night in preparation for the race on Saturday week, but Queensland Health notified those on board the Cathay Pacific cargo flight they would need to quarantine in Brisbane for 14 days after arrival.

Kiwi import Ayrton is now expected to travel to Warwick Farm in Sydney by road on Wednesday night before making the remainder of the trip to Brisbane on Thursday night, arriving at Eagle Farm on Friday morning.

Chris Calthorpe, who runs Air Horse Transport, said seven horses, including Gr.1 Queensland Derby (2400m) favourite Explosive Jack and stablemates Let's Karaka Deel and Persan, had been loaded when he received a call from Queensland Health.

He said for the past four weeks he had been using Cathay Pacific to fly horses into Toowoomba for the Brisbane Winter Carnival.

"Now they (Queensland Health) have an issue with the plane originating in Hong Kong and there may be the chance of cross-contamination between crew and us grooms," Calthorpe told RSN927.

"What we tried to explain was we are under strict conditions with Cathay that we all get a COVID test within 48 hours of travel.

"Cathay run a very tight ship with their crew because they don't want to be grounded anywhere around the world.

"I said to the guy we had been up there the last four Tuesday's, so why have we now hit this hurdle and I didn't get much sense out of them.

"Hopefully we can get some resolution as we have 15 or 16 horses booked to fly next Tuesday."

Calthorpe said he has his own filly, Media Award, winner of the Gr.1 Australasian Oaks (2000m) at Morphettville earlier this month, booked to fly north on June 1 for the Gr.1 Queensland Oaks (2200m) four days later.

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