Yes, it's been a frustrating season for Sofia Rosa - one third placing from campaigns here and in Australia.

But don't take that into account when assessing her chances in today's $100,000 Travis Stakes at Te Rapa.

Compare Sofia Rosa's record this season with her 3-year-old year when she won the Oaks in Sydney, won our Oaks at Trentham only to lose it in the inquiry room and banked close to a million dollars.

All the indicators are there that she will display form close to that when she lines up just before 2.30pm today. Her last-start fifth in the too-short Breeders Stakes on the same course proved that.


The 1600m proved to be less than her best and she could have done with a little more moisture in the track, which is likely today. A rain front is due through the top half of the North Island and even if most of it will focus on after dark today, there will be some morning showers. The 2000m here is perfect.

"I believe she is very close to her best," says trainer Stephen Marsh.

Although she generally races in the back half of the field, Sofia Rosa should get a good suck along from her No 3 barrier.

Don't be surprised if Marsh produces the quinella result, even though this is a strong line-up. Thee Auld Floozie has been a revelation this season. She has physically matured and the 2000m and possibility of rain will be no problem. Her luckless placing to Rasa Lila last year was stylish.

Rasa Lila and Mime are real chances.

Mime suggested she too was looking for 2000m and rain when placed last start. The Breeders Stakes effort should have Rasa Lila close to her best again.

Rasa Lila's stablemate Sopraffina (No2, R1) might be a good way to start the day. Don't judge her here on her last-start failure, go instead on the win the outing prior. Victory Drive (No4) is no champ, but is better than the last start suggests.

Let Her Rip (No4, R2) is best with a bit of freshness in her legs and that's the way she presents here. She can finish off well and should get the right trip. The 2kg apprentice allowance will be very useful.

Killarney (No7) has always promised to make the grade and is getting there nicely. Thatsforsure (No10) and Marky Mark (No2) has the quality to win and watch Roc de Bank (No5) if there is significant rain.

Local Justacanta (No2, R3) was slow away last start, but ran a sharp closing sectional to finish third. A decent getaway would put him right in the fight. Top Prospect (No1), despite the 59.5kg, Tiptronic (No3) and Prince Hareem (No5) appeal for multiple bettors.

If Splurge (No3, R5) is to make a splash at the Brisbane carnival he should go close today. Mighty Solomon (No2) has been freshened and deserves respect as a horse that finished close up in the Telegraph in January.

The $60,000 Inglis Sales Breeders Stakes is a question mark because the three main chances are all coming off breaks.

Sweet Leader (No3, R6) could not have been more impressive winning on debut in the spring, coming from the tail. He was put aside after just two further starts and comes in fresh again. Bella Gioia (No4) can go well fresh even if the barrier is not impressive on paper and Brisbane-bound Hall Of Fame (No1) is all class.