Abbaye ground concern for Nunthorpe heroine Marsha

Wed 27 Sep 2017

By staff

Marsha's team fear testing conditions at Chantilly on Sunday will play into the hands of her major rivals in the Prix de l'Abbaye.

Both Battaash and Signs Of Blessing have big-race wins on very soft ground and while Marsha has run well on soft ground before, the feeling is she is better on a sounder surface.

Marsha got back to winning ways in the Nunthorpe Stakes at York last time out, beating Lady Aurelia in a memorable race on the Knavesmire, and won the Abbaye 12 months ago.

The forecast for Chantilly is for changeable weather with a chance of rain ranging between 35-90%.

"The forecast is what it is," said William Butler, assistant to trainer Sir Mark Prescott.

"She's run well on soft ground at Goodwood. We'll just have to hope they don't get too much more rain.

"She's all speed and there's no doubt that she'd prefer better ground. Like I said, she does handle soft, but it's more likely to play to the strengths of her rivals than her.

"We won't be using it as an excuse if she gets beaten, though."

Marsha is a best-priced 9-4 with BetVictor to end her career on a high, although Irish firms Paddy Power and Boylesports are shortest at 15-8.

"She's heading to the December sales like Elite (Racing Club, owners) tend to do, but the syndicate do have a few of her siblings who are now very valuable," he added.

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