Horses To Follow » Musaalem


Musaalem ran an eye-catching race in the six furlong Class 2 handicap at Newmarket on Sunday. Stone last out of traps and in no rush at all in the early stages of the race, he travelled easily out the back as one by one his rivals in front of him came off the bridle. He and the winner Jimmy Styles were the only two horses still on the bridle passing the two-furlong pole but, whereas the winner was already in the front rank, Musaalem still hadn’t passed a rival. William Haggas’s horse appeared to become unbalanced running down into the Dip, appearing to want to hang to his right a little, so Tadhg O’Shea sat still until they met the rising ground, at which point the son of Aljabr made nice progress under just a hands and heels ride all the way to the line.

The five-year-old, winner on his racecourse debut on his only start at three, looked like a really useful performer in the early part of last season, but he disappointed on his last two runs, in competitive handicaps at Ascot and Haydock, over seven furlongs and six furlongs respectively. He has obvioulsy had his problems, a five-year-old who has raced just six times, but this run on Sunday proved that he retains a lot of his ability. He is in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot, and he would be an interesting contender if he were to take his chance in that. His trainer William Haggas is fairly adept with handicappers, and Musaalem’s mark of 93 should get him into the Wokingham around the 9st mark, and that would be ideal.

24th May 2009