Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh is hoping his stable star Sofia Rosa can recapture her brilliant three year old form when she returns to Sydney for the 2017 Autumn Carnival and ‘The Championships.’
Sofia Rosa was one of the stars of the 2016 ‘The Championships’ with her win in the Group 1 $1m James Boag’s Premium Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick but failed to perform at her best from three runs during the 2016 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
Marsh was aiming the Kiwi mare towards the Group 1 $3m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield but pulled the pin on her Spring campaign after the she finished eleventh of twelve to Hartnell in the Group 1 $500,000 Yellowglen Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 2.
Sofia Rosa also failed to impress at her first two Spring runs with a tenth to Black Heart Bart in the Group 1 $500,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 27 followed by a ninth to Palentino in the Group 1 $500,000 PFD Food Services Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 10.
Marsh said that Sofia Rosa had spelled well and he is looking forward to getting back for the Autumn Carnival.
“She has done tremendously well and looks amazing,” Marsh told NZRacing.co.
“I was thrilled to bits and she looks back to where she was.
“She just didn’t thrive in the spring and never lost her winter coat at all.
“She didn’t do that well as a Spring three-year-old either, but really came right in the Autumn and I can’t see any reason why she won’t do the same this season.
“She will probably kick off here somewhere and then most likely head to Sydney.”
Sofia Rosa was unlucky not to have won two Oaks after being beaten a nose by Fanatic in the Group 1 NZ$300,000 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham in March.
An in-form Sofia Rosa wouldn’t look out of place running in the Group 1 $4m Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 8, the second day of ‘The Championships’ and in early betting at Ladbrokes.com.au is listed as a $67 chance.
The all-conquering Winx is the early favourite for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at $1.90 ahead of the John O’Shea trained Hartnell at $11 and Winx’s stablemate Omei Sword at 17.
Sofia Rosa is the winner of five races from thirteen starts and has earned $898,853 for her connections.