It’s the most wonderful time of the year

It's the most wonderful time of the year

Boxing Day is so much more than leftover turkey sandwiches. The Boxing Day Races at Ellerslie is up there with other Auckland festive icons such as the Franklin Road Christmas lights or the creepy giant Santa on Queen Street.

Go Racing trainer Stephen Marsh (regardless of whether he’s been naughty or nice) will have a box set of runners on the 26th.

Two-year-old Sophie’s Choice (Darci Brahma x Show Up) is ultimately targeted for the Karaka Million and will compete in the $50,000 2YO 1100 metres on her journey to qualify.

She had a good first up race at Otaki to run second. Unfortunately she has got a terrible draw at barrier 14 and Danielle Johnson will have her work cut out for her.

Ruud Not Too is in the appropriately named Rising Stars Final worth $80,000 over 1500 metres. “She came second in the Eight Carat Classic last year run at the same meeting and since that has come back well with a first and a third in this campaign. It is another shocking barrier draw to overcome but she has the ability to do it,” say Albert Bosma, Racing Manager.

Finally, Scarlet Secret competes in the Rating 75 Benchmark 1200 metres worth $50,000. With a fourth and a first under her belt in this campaign, she is a talented filly and has the experienced Michael Coleman in the saddle.

On New Year’s Day while most are nursing a hangover, the Go Racing trainers are nursing their stars.

Stephen Marsh has No More Tears in the glamour sprint – the Group 1 Railway worth $200,000. While her form has been patchy of late she has proven ability in the big races and there is confidence that she can be very competitive in this race. 

Stephen McKee has Hasahalo in the Group 3 Eclipse Stakes worth $70,000 as a lead up to her tilt at the Karaka Million. He has a high opinion of the talented but inexperienced horse. “She was an unlucky second in Group 2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes at Trentham last start. She’s a filly with a very good turn of foot who just wants to be a race horse. She will enjoy stepping up to 1200 metres in the Eclipse.”

Finally, What a Diva competes in the Dunstan Stayers Championship worth $80,000 over 2200 metres. She won the Dunstan Stayers qualifier worth $30,000 and is now fourth favourite for this race. “We think she is a Cups horse in the making and see this as a nice stepping stone for her,” says Marsh.

Says Albert, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year…. I’m not just talking about Christmas, but the superb line up of racing!”