New Zealand trainer Stephen Marsh formulates Australian raids

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Exciting three-year-old filly Atishu has gone to the paddock, with Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh happy to play the long-game rather than pushing on to a Queensland campaign.

The daughter of Savabeel has won her past four starts, including a pair of Listed races at Riccarton, culminating in the Listed Warstep Stakes (2000m) last month.

While plans to push on to Queensland had been mooted, Marsh said the lengthy travel via road to Christchurch and back warranted the filly taking a break.

“She is spelling at the moment and we will be bringing her back in June,” Marsh said.

“We are looking at potentially campaigning in Sydney in the early spring. We will get her up and give her a trial here and if we are very happy with her, we will look at getting her over there early.

“Because she had to float down to Christchurch and float back, it just took a bit of a toll. It is a long trip on them and another trip to Australia would just have been too much on her.”

While Queensland travel plans are not on horizon for Atishu, year older stablemate Osaka is likely to head to Melbourne after a dominant victory at Te Rapa over 1400m earlier this month.

A winner of five of his 11 starts, Marsh is keen to bank some Australian dollars with the gelding he part-owns.

“Osaka is going to go over and race on May 29 in a Rating 84 mile at Caulfield. He could potentially stay for an open 1800m race three weeks later,” Marsh said.

“Dad and I and a good friend of Dad’s from Singapore own him, so we thought we’d have a crack.”

The Cambridge trainer also revealed last start Group Two winner Pierina has gone for a break and will be mated in the spring, and will return when early in foal for a final campaign.

Meanwhile, Marsh has thrown his support behind the inaugural Cambridge Synthetic racemeeting, which will be held on Wednesday, nominating 17 runners for the meeting.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” Marsh said.

“It does fit a purpose for horses looking for better tracks at this time of year. It is good to be able to send them around on a nice track rather than going around on a Heavy11.

“Nothing against Rotorua, but it was bottomless on Saturday, so it will be nice to run the horses on a nice track.

“My owners have been really supportive (of the track) and there will be plenty of them coming on the opening day. They are so excited, it’s great.”

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