Horses To Follow » Masamah


Masamah was an impressive winner of a five-furlong handicap at Chester on Wednesday. After breaking well for William Buick, he out-sprinted his rivals to get to the front, travelled nicely from here and showed a good turn of foot to outpace his rivals just before the straight. He was then just kept up to his work by Buick to win by a comfortable two lengths.

Although he had been well drawn in stall three (the last 11 winners of this race had come from no higher than stall eight), which allowed him to get the run of the race from the front, this was still a really good performance from Masamah. He had the pace to make full use of his draw, he was able to race at five-furlong pace easily at the head of affairs, and he showed an impressive turn of foot to come clear, staying on nicely inside the final 200 yards. The time of the race was 0.31secs quicker than standard, the only time that dipped below standard on the day, and he finished with daylight between himself and the highly talented Hamish McGonagall, who was well fancied and well backed, and who in turn was clear of the remainder of the field.

This was Masamah’s first run for the Kevin Ryan, who excels with sprinters, having been bought for £30,000 from Ed Dunlop’s yard at last year’s October sales. His new connections were said to be surprised with the win, indicating that they thought he would need the run, so there could be substantial improvement to come from Masamah. He now looks like fulfilling some of the potential he showed as a two-year-old, when he won on his first two starts before going up in class to contest the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes, where he was not disgraced behind Lord Shanakill. His first two starts last year were disappointing before he came back to run well in a six-furlong all-weather event behind Lemon And Sugar.

A son of Exceed And Excel, he clearly looks to be going the right way and he has plenty of options. He is in the Dash at Epsom, but connections are not keen on sending him there as they feel he may not act on the track. He is a three-time winner over the minimum distance and his breeding suggests good ground or better will see him at his best.

5th May 2010