Scorpz another first crop Group winner for Charm Spirit

29 Nov, 2019 NZ Racing Desk

Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh had a memorable day at Otaki on Friday, winning a stakes double and unearthing another Derby prospect.

The Waikato conditioner won the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) with Crown Prosecutor (Medaglia D’Oro) this year and he has next year’s edition in his sights with Scorpz (Charm Spirit) after his win in the Gr.3 Lucia Valentina Wellington Stakes (1600m).

The son of Charm Spirit (Invincible Spirit) hit the lead at the top of the straight after racing midfield for the majority of the race, and he showed his determined spirit when holding out promising gelding Shenanigans (Ocean Park) to win by a half-head.

“Gee he’s a lovely colt,” said Marsh, who shares in the ownership of Scorpz. “He travelled beautifully, but I wasn’t sure on the line.

“He got there (to the front) quickly, he just does what he has to. I think he just buttoned off a bit too, but there’s a fair bit of upside to him.

“He’s nominated for the Derby and some other races. He is a lovely colt on the way forward.”

Jockey Jason Waddell was pleased with the win but admitted the length of the straight felt like an eternity after hitting the lead earlier than planned.

“He gave me a beautiful ride. He’s had a bit of racing but he’s just coped with it well. I ride him in all his work and his work leading into it has been fantastic,” Waddell said.

“We hit the front too soon to be honest, but sometimes things are out of your hands. I was three back on the rail and the opportunity to push off just presented itself, so I took it.  

“It was a long 350m, I don’t normally say too much but I screamed at him a couple of times to keep his mind on the job.”

Waddell has a lot of time for Scorpz and shares Marsh’s sentiments about his Derby credentials.

“He can get the Derby distance, no doubt,” he said. “2000m will be fine, he switches off in his races beautifully.  

“He’s a big strong colt, he doesn’t know he’s a colt. He’s the complete opposite of what Crown Prosecutor was last year.”