Stephen Marsh's hopes of a group one victory during the Wellington Cup Carnival have been given a significant boost.
The Cambridge trainer produced Seize The Moment to defeat his stablemate Thee Auld Floozie in the group three Anniversary yesterday ahead of their rematch in a fortnight's time.
"They'll both be back for the Thorndon Mile," Marsh's travelling foreman Rhys Mildon said.
Seize The Moment, whose stablemate Akoya had also won earlier on the day, raced outside the leader and he was in front on straightening after pacemaker La Fille En Jeu caved in and he held on strongly to the post.
"It's good to see the big boy back and Stephen was very confident," Mildon said.
"Thee Auld Floozie gave him a good fight, but he got there in the end. She tried hard, but it was his day today."
Successful rider Matt Cameron said Seize The Moment had been left in front a long way from home, but his fighting qualities weren't to be denied.
Meanwhile, two old mates combined for an upset win in the group three Trentham Stakes with the genuine stayer Sampson.
Otaki trainer Howie Mathews called on Reese Jones yesterday to partner the 7-year-old in the Mills Reef Winery-sponsored contest and the experienced northern rider played his part perfectly.
"He's the most under-rated jockey in New Zealand " we've been great friends for years," Mathews said.
Sampson settled one off the rail behind the leading pair and he was travelling easily for Jones across the top.
When he was asked for an effort in the straight, the 22-1 shot bounded to the front and he strolled to the line for his eighth career win at the expense of Authentic Paddy and Promise To Reign.
- NZ Racing Desk.