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Marroni set to resume at Trentham for new barn

Owners Alastair Lawrence and John Rattray, of Bonneval fame, have had success sending horses to Waipukurau trainer Simon Wilson over the last few years and they are hoping that continues with their Group Three winner Marroni.

MARRONI winning the Humphries Constr. Manawatu Cup
MARRONI winning the Humphries Constr. Manawatu Cup Picture: Race Images Photo

Wilson had previously been entrusted with Scutar and Vidiano for the partnership, with the former posting three of his four victories under Wilson's care, while Vidiano also tasted success from the Central Hawke's Bay barn.

Wilson's rural, boutique stable environment has proven to be a successful recipe in the past for Lawrence, Rattray, and their group of owners, and they are hoping it can help reinvigorate the racing career of Marroni.

The seven-year-old son of Makfi has posted seven wins and nine placings from his 33 starts to date for trainer Andrew Forsman, having also been in the care of former training partner Murray Baker in his formative years.

His highlights include victory in the Gr.3 Manawatu Cup (2250m) and placings in the Gr.2 Easter Handicap (1600m), Gr.2 Japan Trophy (1600m), and Gr.3 Sellwood Stakes (2000m).

He was last sighted on raceday at Sandown last May and has been given a long, slow build-up for his debut run for Wilson in Saturday's The Hits Autumn Cup (1600m) at Trentham. The Hawke's Bay trainer said he is pleased to be entrusted with another runner for the ownership group and is hopeful of a strong showing this weekend.

"I have had a few horses for the owners in previous years. He (Marroni) is in the twilight of his racing career and they thought a different environment may help reinvigorate him," Wilson said.

"He has been a very good horse. I don't know what the future holds for him, but we will see what happens."

Marroni  readied for Saturday's assignment with a 1200m trial at Foxton last month where he was runner-up behind stakes performer Semper Magico.

"I still don't know a lot about him, but he trialled nicely enough for where he was in his preparation," Wilson said.

"He has been in work for a while now, so he is ready to start."

Marroni was set to carry 60kg this weekend but will get some weight relief courtesy of apprentice jockey Ciel Butler's two-kilogram claim.

"Ciel Butler will ride him on Saturday to take a few kilos off, which in his first start back will be a big benefit to him hopefully," Wilson said.

Marroni has drawn gate three for Saturday and Wilson is looking forward to getting a line on his charge against a handy field, which includes Group One winner He's A Doozy, Group One performer Chase, Group Three winner Aljay, dual stakes winner Soldier Boy, Group Two performer Duncan Creek, and Group Three performer Sumi.

"He likes to be in just behind the pace, just a bit better than midfield, so that should work out nicely for him from that draw," Wilson said.

"It is a nice field, there are some well-performed horses in there. We will just see how he goes and take it from there."

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