Horses To Follow » Mubaraza


Mubaraza ran a cracker to finish second to the race-fit Angel Gabrial in the Class 2 two-mile handicap at Ripon on Saturday. Held up in the early stages of the race by Paul Mulrennan, Ed Dunlop’s horse made nice progress from the three-furlong pole and, when he hit the front a furlong out, he looked set to go on to win his race. However, Angel Gabrial also picked up nicely in behind him, joined him deep inside the final furlong and just forged ahead to win by a neck.

There was no disgrace in getting beaten by Angel Gabrial. Richard Fahey’s horse is a good handicapper who obviously improved for the step up to two miles for the first time, given how well he saw it out, and who was race-fit, having run twice already this term. Mubaraza himself was a progressive stayer last season as a four-year-old. A winner over two miles as a three-year-old, he finished fourth behind Well Sharp in the Ascot Stakes at Royal Ascot last June, when the two-and-a-half-mile trip seemed to stretch his stamina, and he finished third in the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle in June off a mark of 94. We didn’t see him again after that last season, he obviously had a problem, but he was gelded in the interim and he could be an improved stayer this year as a five-year-old.

He stays two miles well, and he could get further this term as a more mature horse. He goes well at Newmarket, so the Cesarewitch would be a legitimate long-term aim. His new mark of 98 should be workable, however, and he will be of interest wherever he goes next on that mark. He is in the Chester Cup and, while that can be a messy race in which the draw can play a key role, he will be of interest if he does take his chance in that race.

26th April 2014