Racing: Trainer takes punt in Hastings feature

By Mike Dillon

Danielle Johnson will partner Sofia Rosa today.Picture / Trish Dunell
Danielle Johnson will partner Sofia Rosa today.Picture / Trish Dunell

We are going to see a fitness gamble by trainer Stephen Marsh in (Wednesday's) today's $70,000 Little Avondale Lowland Stakes at Hastings.

Marsh will try to win the stakes race with Sofia Rosa in the filly's first start in two months.
The 2100m is the longest Sofia Rosa has attempted and she has not raced since winning the Royal Stakes at Ellerslie on January 1.

The reason Marsh has chosen this race is it fits in perfectly with Sofia Rosa's Oaks preparation. Marsh believes Sofia Rosa's temperamental nature, which keeps condition off her frame, will help her manage the 2100m first time up.

"She's always very light and she's fit enough to win and at the same time she will improve with the race. This will top her off nicely for the Oaks. She looks extremely bright."

Sofia Rosa's temperament makes her tough to train but that toughness is also obvious on the racetrack. She had to dig deep in the closing 100m to win the 2000m Royal Stakes.

Each of the filly's last five race starts, including two in Sydney, have been right-handed, but her first two starts were left-handed, the same as Hastings, when she finished second in the Champagne Stakes at Riccarton last season and won first-up at Hastings in August.

The TAB's fixed odds betting on the Lowland: $2.80 Sofia Rosa, $4.50 Sewreel, $5 Strada Cavallo then out to $11 for All In Vogue and Black Sav.

- NZ Herald

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