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Monday, 17 December, 2018

Apprentice Marsh maintains love affair with Goodwood Crusader

Finley Marsh: 11th winner for the apprentice
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Goodwood Crusader, not able to win off marks in the 60s, defied a career-high rating of 81 to make it four victories from his last four appearances at Leicester on Saturday evening - all coming under apprentice Finley Marsh.

Trainer Richard Hughes used his Racing Post column on Saturday to highlight the chances of the improving three-year-old, who runs in the colours of the Goodwood Racehorse Owners Group, but has taken time to find the winning thread.

However, he has that now after a brace of Bath wins was followed by another strike at Brighton this month.

The key, according to the Lambourn-based Hughes, has been learning how to ride the son of Sir Prancealot, who seems to relish attacking a hot pace, the trainer reasoning they went "bananas" up front at Brighton.

Sent off the 11-4 favourite for Leicester's feature, Goodwood Crusader made headway a furlong out and ran on well to win by a length and a half.

"He's such an honest horse," said Marsh, who is apprenticed to Hughes.

"I rode him once for Richard and he finished sixth, but he's turned a corner and has improved every start. He drops out the back and comes through; we didn't go as quick as we went at Brighton, so he travelled really well.

"I got pushed out wide and needed cover so I dropped him in, then the race picked up and I just had to stay with them. And when they started coming off it, that's where he does his best work - he was cantering in behind them.

"I think he'll improve and win again just from the feel he gave me today - he won really well."

The 18-year-old Marsh, whose next date with Goodwood Crusader could come at Newmarket on June 29, was celebrating his 11th winner and added: "I never thought I'd enjoy it as much - it's been amazing. Everyone has helped me so much. I started when I was 13 riding ponies and Richard has been fantastic to me.

"I didn't think I'd be where I am now with 11 winners, so I'd like to ride out my 7lb claim, but I'll go day by day."


I think he'll improve and win again just from the feel he gave me today - he won really well
E.W. Terms
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