Two talented three-year-olds trained by Stephen Marsh will test the waters this weekend in the $70,000 Group 3 Manawatu Classic over 2000 metres.
Decadence (Sweet Orange x Polyana filly) and Deels Done (Dundeel x Entrancement gelding) are both three-year-olds on a trajectory. Decadence broke her maiden status in style in the Pearl Bonus maiden 1600 at Te Aroha on the 15th of March while Deels Done got his first win under his belt at Pukekohe on the 28th of February.
“Given the timing of their campaigns, the Manawatu Classic fits in perfectly and will give us a good indication of where they are at this point of their season. If they can compete at this level over ground, it opens Australia up for them. It is a good test at this early stage of their career,” says Stephen.
Decadence is vying for an Oaks race in either Adelaide or Queensland. Says Racing Manager Albert Bosma, “Sweet Orange is not a well-known sire but he was a very good racehorse in Hong Kong and was favourite for their Derby. We just loved her as a type and had to have her. She’s a last start winner and the step up in distance shouldn’t be a problem. While it is also a step up in class we are anticipating she can handle it. The wide barrier draw of 14 will make it tough though. She will come in a couple of places and is a relaxed mare, so we will just have to find her spot.”
“Dundeel is absolutely red hot as a sire at the moment and Deels Done is very talented. We think he is looking for more ground. He is also in line for a trip to a Derby in Australia if he can measure up on Saturday. He’s drawn barrier 7 and is likely to come in a couple of places. He should be able to choose the spot he wants in the running.”
Marsh is no stranger to successful Australian campaigns. Says Albert, “He’s had great success across the Tasman, highlighted by Sofia Rosa winning the ATC Oaks in 2016. We are always looking at the best possible career options for our horses, whichever side of the Tasman. The timing for these two could be spot on and Saturday will tell us more.”