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Ward: Del Mar could favour Marsha more than Lady Aurelia

Wesley Ward: "You couldn't have a horse better than she is right now."
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Sir Mark Prescott may have played down Marsha’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint chances on Wednesday, but Wesley Ward feels Del Mar could favour the Elite Racing Club-owned sprinter more than Lady Aurelia.

Ward believes Del Mar is a track that can play to the strengths of closing horses, with Marsha one of the main dangers to his stable star following her last-gasp success over the King’s Stand scorer in the Nunthorpe at York in August.

Lady Aurelia is a best-priced 11-8 shot with Betfair Sportsbook, BoyleSports and Paddy Power to win the Turf Sprint on November 4, while Marsha is available at 11-2.

Prescott said at a Breeders' Cup media conference in Newmarket that he thought Marsha might struggle to get to grip with the turns at Del Mar in California, but Ward told the Racing Post: "I think Marsha has some benefits, perhaps more so than us.

"Del Mar is a closing track. Horses often come from behind for whatever reason. I have been sending horses there from the east coast over the years and they have won from ten lengths behind – although those horses were not running against Lady Aurelia."

The nine previous renewals of the race have gone to trainers in the US or North America – a stat that does not bode particularly well for Marsha.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained Washington DC failed to justify favouritism when sixth last year, with Britain going closest in the first running in 2008, when Diabolical took the runner-up spot for Saeed Bin Suroor and the Jeremy Noseda-trained Fleeting Spirit was fourth.

Ward watched his superstar three-year-old filly work on Wednesday and could not be more thrilled with the condition of the daughter of Scat Daddy heading into a Marsha rematch he is keenly anticipating.

"Lady Aurelia is dead on right now," he said. "You couldn't have a horse better than she is right now, so I'm really excited for the rematch.

“Sir Mark is an unbelievable trainer and did a great job to prepare Marsha to beat us on the line at York; we had no excuses. I know he'll have his filly in great order."

Bet365 announced on Thursday they are now non-runner no bet on all Breeders' Cup races.


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I think Marsha has some benefits, perhaps more so than us. Del Mar is a closing track
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