After a slow start Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh is now reaping the rewards of the patient approach he adopted for the start of the current racing season.

The win of three-year-old filly Sardaaj at Te Rapa on Saturday was the 12thfor the Marsh stable this season with eight of those coming in the last three weeks.

“I said to my owners during the winter that we would take a patient approach to this season and to hopefully expect the team to be firing as we got closer to Christmas,” noted Marsh

“I guess it’s easy to say those things but we didn’t want to be struggling around in the early spring when the tracks are still pretty wet which can undo any good work you may have done at that stage.

“Thankfully it all seems to have come together brilliantly recently and I’m really excited about our prospects as we have a great mix of older established horses along with some very promising two and three-year-olds.”

Included in that “promising” description is Iffraaj filly Sardaaj who maintained her unbeaten record on the weekend with a performance that indicated a step up to stakes company would not be beyond her in the coming weeks.

“She has shown us plenty right from day one but that was a massive performance on Saturday as she had to work hard from the wide draw and then got taken on most of the way,” enthused Marsh.

“To kick away and win like she did against the older horses was a super effort.”

The filly raced in the ownership of the Geelong based Rosemont Stud for the first time on Saturday after she was sold by breeder Annette Antoniadis late last week with Marsh hopeful he will retain her in his stable for the foreseeable future.

“The indications are she will head to Australia at some stage but I’m hopeful of keeping her for awhile longer as we are looking to take her on the same path as we did with Lucia Valentina last year,” he said.

“Actually the race that Sardaaj won on Saturday was the same one that Lucia Valentina ran 6th in last year before she went on to win the Group Three Wellington Stakes and that is where we will head with this filly next.”

Lucia Valentina won two of her first five starts for Marsh before being transferred to the Sydney stable of Kris Lees where she has now won at Group One level on two occasions and finished third in last month’s Gr. 1 Caulfield Cup.

New Zealand Racing Desk