Horses To Follow » Zaralanta


There was a lot to like about Zaralanta’s performance in landing a six-furlong maiden at The Curragh on Sunday. Drawn furthest from the stands rail, stall 16 of 16, and shoved even a little further out when her next-door neighbour Ice Bound moved to his right upon exiting the gate, Mick Kinane soon had her on an even keel, and tacked over to join main body of the field by the time they reached the four-furlong pole. It looked like the Bolger horse Buiochas Mor was going to be a big danger a furlong and a half out, but once Kinane sat down to drive Zaralanta on, she picked up impressively and quickly put a distance of ground between herself and her rivals to win by a cosy three lengths.

This may not have been the greatest maiden of all time, but the John Oxx-trained filly did it very nicely. Her draw meant that she raced wider and saw more daylight than ideal – she could never get cover – but, even so, she was able to pick up and draw clear, and she handled the ease in the ground well. She is by Danehill Dancer and a half-sister to Zarad, a winner and Group 3 placed at a mile, so she should improve for stepping up to that distance in time. Also, the Oxx horses almost always improve for their first run. This filly was well supported in the market beforehand, so she was obviously impressing at home, and she should be worth following. Next up for her could be the Athasi Stakes, in which she would be interesting.

22nd March, 2009