Mar­sha and Lady Aure­lia set for San Diego re­match

The Guardian - Sport - - Football - Greg Wood

One of the most dra­matic Group One fin­ishes of the Flat sea­son could have a se­quel in Cal­i­for­nia next month after Mar­sha, who beat Lady Aure­lia by a nose in the Nun­thorpe Stakes at York in Au­gust, was com­mit­ted to a fi­nal run for the 10,500-strong Elite Rac­ing Club in the Breed­ers’ Cup Turf Sprint at Del Mar on 4 Novem­ber. Sir Mark Prescott’s filly will be the Club’s first run­ner at the meet­ing, and heads to the De­cem­ber blood­stock sales a few weeks later.

Frankie Det­tori, who rode Lady Aure­lia at York, was so con­vinced that he had beaten Mar­sha that he punched the air in cel­e­bra­tion after the line, and said after­wards that he was “dazed” to discover that Mar­sha and Luke Mor­ris had got up in the fi­nal stride to win. Lady Aure­lia, who is trained in the US by Wesley Ward, is also be­ing trained for the Turf Sprint and is 11-8 favourite to gain her re­venge in San Diego, with Mar­sha on of­fer at 5-1 with sev­eral book­mak­ers to con­firm the York form.

Mor­ris and Prescott will also be mak­ing their de­buts at the Breed­ers’ Cup meet­ing, in a race in which Mar­sha will be chas­ing the rich­est prize of her ca­reer. The Turf Sprint, which has yet to be won by a Euro­pean-trained run­ner in eight pre­vi­ous run­nings, is worth $550,000 (£416,000) to the win­ner, more than twice the £198,000 that Mar­sha earned for her own­ers in the Nun­thorpe.

“We were of­fered a place after York,” Dan Downie, Elite Rac­ing Club’s man­ager, said yes­ter­day. “We didn’t want to say any­thing un­til after Chan­tilly [where Mar­sha was sec­ond in the Prix de l’Ab­baye], and we just made the fi­nal de­ci­sion this week.

“It doesn’t look the strong­est di­vi­sion [in US rac­ing] and that was an­other rea­son that we felt she’d got noth­ing to lose. It’s going into the un­known trav­el­ling her over there, and it’s five fur­longs at Del Mar, but she’s done ev­ery­thing so far and we think she’s ob­vi­ously very smart and should take her chance.”

Mar­sha and Lady Aure­lia are likely to have sev­eral pounds in hand of next month’s field in terms of rat­ings, and Downie is look­ing for­ward to the pos­si­bil­ity of a re­match.

“We thought we ought to try again to see if we can beat her by a bit fur­ther this time,” he said. “I saw her on Mon­day and I have to say she looked fan­tas­tic. You’d want them both to ar­rive in top form and both to run their race and it will be a real spec­ta­cle, hope­fully.”

Luke Mor­ris, who rode Mar­sha to vic­tory over Lady Aure­lia at York, is set to make his Breed­ers’ Cup meet­ing de­but

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.