Silver Joy for Bruce Marsh, Latest Racing News - The New Paper

Silver Joy for Bruce Marsh

TH Koh-ridden $156 outsider gives veteran New Zealand trainer his 400th Kranji winner

Veteran Kiwi trainer Bruce Marsh achieved a new milestone in his Kranji career yesterday, when the aptly named $156 outsider Silver Joy provided him with his 400th winner.

The former Melbourne Cup-winning jockey, with Silver Knight in 1971, had started this season real slow but, like he had predicted, things have picked up momentum with his newer horses starting to fire.

It was not until April 6 and 55 runners later that Marsh ended the drought and frustration with the appropriately named galloper, Uncle Lucky. His best results before that were five seconds and five thirds.

The affable trainer said after that race that it would be "onwards and upwards" with that morale-boosting breakthrough victory.

"At the moment, a lot of our horses are not ready, not a great team. We've some new horses coming and, hopefully, we will get some nice results later in the year," he said then.

With the monkey off his back, the winners started to flow in. Three-year-old Silver Joy was his 13th winner of the season for Marsh.

The TTS No. 2 Stable-owned brown Australian-bred gelding's best effort from seven earlier starts was a fourth to Revolution over the Polytrack 1,200m but finished smack-up in sixth position behind the winners in his last two starts. All his races were over sprints.

The step-up to 1,600m in Restricted Maiden yesterday and his past experience clearly benefited Silver Joy.

Ridden by TH Koh, the averagely-built galloper jumped well from barrier 8 in the field of 12 and was among the leaders.

The Mark Walker-trained $423 long shot Analyst set the pace from the $12 favourite Mr Rockwell, with Silver Joy and Official next.

Silver Joy dropped back slightly at the halfway stage, as $21 second favourite Acrobat went past him, but was travelling nicely. Mr Rockwell collared Analyst shortly after straightening. Acrobat moved up menacingly.

Koh made his move and Silver Joy also loomed up beautifully. Despite being ridden out, Mr Rockwell failed to accelerate. On the other hand, Silver Joy clicked into a higher gear when asked in the final 200m and motored home by 11/2 lengths in 1min 36.48sec for the 1,600m trip.

Acrobat finished second. Iron Fist knocked Mr Rockwell into fourth place.

"He's always shown a bit of promise but he had been a bit green and things went a bit wrong in his races. Everything went right today," said Marsh, of Silver Joy.

"He got the trip real easy and there's no reason why he can't go further. He's got a bright future as he's only a young horse."

Marsh was presented with a bottle of champagne by fellow trainer Steven Burridge for saddling his 400th Kranji winner.

He relocated from his nativeland in 2005, after training there for more than 30 years and was among the Top 10 with several major successes, including the ARC Zabeel Classic in 2003 and New Zealand Derby in 2000 with Hail.

His first Kranji triumph could not be more momentous, capturing the Group 1 Emirates Singapore Derby with big outsider Hello And Goodbye on July 17, 2005. He achieved the Derby double five years later with Race Ahead, who lifted the Group 2 Queen Elizabeth II Cup three months earlier.

Marsh's other Kranji highlight was his association with 2010 Juvenile Championship winner Gingerbread Man, who made a clean sweep of the three legs of the Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge in 2011. As a four-year-old, Gingerbread Man won the first leg of the Singapore Four-Year-Old Challenge, the Group 2 Stewards' Cup.

On his time in Singapore, Marsh said: "It's been a marvellous place to train. It's wonderful, you know, no travelling and the stakemoney is very good. Everything's been excellent, yeah, love the place."