Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh would not be surprised if Australian Oaks winner Sofia Rosa scores an upset win in the Group 1 $500,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Sofia Rosa is having he first start since winning the Group 1 $1m James Boag’s Premium Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick during the Sydney Autumn Carnival and Marsh said that the new season four year old mare is primed for a bold first up showing.
Sofia Rosa is marked as a $16 chance for the Memsie Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au and Marsh said that she is ready to explode over the 1400m in the first Group 1 of the Spring Carnival.
“I thought she could run a really sharp 1400m in a fresh state,” Marsh told The Sportsman.
“She’s is not a dour stayer and it fitted into a nice program for her.”
“She’s probably not slick enough to be anywhere near competitive over 1200m in that class but at 1400m she could give them a shake.”
Sofia Rosa wrapped up her Memsie Stakes preparation with an 800m jump out at Flemington last Friday with race jockey Michael Walker in the saddle and the Kiwi trainer was pleased with her third placing.
“I thought she showed good early speed, Michael got on with her very well and she travelled sweetly,” Marsh said.
“She pulled up from the jump out well and I think she can run a big race.”
Marsh has nominated Sofia Rose for both the Group 1 $3m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield and the Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley during the Melbourne Spring Carnival.
Even though Sofia Rosa won over the Caulfield Cup distance when she took out the Australian Oaks, March is of the belief that she is not a genuine 2400m horse.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if 2400m now is one step too far but this race and her next race will tell us,” Marsh said.
“We have her in the Cox Plate, though we are very wary of Winx, and you always can fall back on a race like the Mackinnon.”
The weight for age Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes has had a name change and will now be run as the Group 1 $2m Emirates Stakes (2000m) and has been moved from the first day of the four day Melbourne Cup Carnival to the final day seven days later.
After the Memsie Stakes, Sofia Rosa will continue her Spring Carnival program in the Group 1 $500,000 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 10 followed by the Group 1 $500,000 Yellowglen Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 2.
Market order for the Memsie Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.70 Black Heart Bart, $6.50 Mahuta, $7.50 Palentino, $12 Lord Of The Sky, $13 Alpine Eagle, $15 Tarzino, $16 Sofia Rosa, $19 Rising Romance, He Or She, $26 Charmed Harmony, $31 Tavago, $34 Tally, $41 Prince Of Penzance, $61 Tashbeeh.