Antrim Coast shooting for Derby win for Marsh

With the prospect of Group One glory both now and in the spring, Saturday looms as an exciting afternoon for Stephen Marsh.

The Cambridge trainer will saddle Antrim Coast as a live contender for the Gr.1 Thomas Farms South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville, while the unbeaten two-year-old Super Photon can confirm his Group One credentials for next season with another bold performance in the Listed Waikato Equine Veterinary Centre 2YO Stakes (1400m) at Te Rapa.

Antrim Coast will attempt to become the second Group One winner in Australia for Marsh, who won the Australian Oaks (2400m) in Sydney with Sofia Rosa in 2016.

Carrying the blue and white colours of The Oaks Stud, Antrim Coast lined-up as a $157 outsider in the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) in March and produced an enormous performance for second behind star filly Orchestral.

Two subsequent performances in Australia have further proven Antrim Coast’s big-race quality. He defeated fellow Kiwi three-year-old Quintessa to win the Gr.2 Alister Clark Stakes (2040m) at Moonee Valley, then ran a close and unlucky second in the Listed Galilee Series Final (2400m) at Caulfield on April 6.

“I thought it was another really good run at Caulfield,” Marsh said. “The jockey (Daniel Stackhouse) got off him and admitted he just took off way too early and was left a sitting duck in the straight. That’s not the way to ride him at all. He’s a good rider, but just made a mistake that day. These things happen.

“Mick Dee is back on him on Saturday. He rode him to win the Alister Clark at Moonee Valley two starts ago. I think gate six is a lovely draw. He should get into a nice position from there and have a beautiful run.

“His work has been very good leading into the race. He’s been up for a few dances now, but he’s still really going super. We couldn’t be any happier with him.”

The TAB rates Antrim Coast a $6.50 chance for Saturday’s Derby, sharing second favouritism with fellow Kiwi-bred Warmonger. The $4.40 favourite is Coco Sun, who is backing up from a third placing in last Saturday’s Gr.1 Australasian Oaks (2000m).

Meanwhile on home soil, Marsh will saddle exciting colt Super Photon in Te Rapa’s Waikato Equine Veterinary Centre 2YO Stakes.

The son of Super Seth is a half-brother to multiple Group One winner and recently announced Newhaven Park stallion Mo’unga, and he was a $380,000 purchase at Karaka last year by Stephen Marsh Racing, Dennis Foster, Bourbon Lane and Dylan Johnson Bloodstock.

-By Richard Edmunds, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk


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