Horses To Follow » Zarinski


Zarinski ran a fine race to finish fourth in the King George V Handicap on Thursday. They went really fast through the first furlong or so of the race, then the front-runners steadied it down a little as the field concertinaed, with the result that there were traffic problems for those racing in behind. Niall McCullagh had to snatch Zarinski up a couple of times before they made the turn at Swinley Bottom, with the result that he got shuffled back to near the back of the field. After that, the pace remained fairly steady and didn’t really pick up until they turned for home. Zarinski had made some progress around the outside of the field to move into seventh spot going around the home turn, but he was done for toe as the pace increased, and looked like he would finish no better than mid-division as they passed the two furlong pole. From there, however, he stayed on admirably for pressure, running on to take fourth spot on the line, no more than three lengths behind the winner Cosmic Sun.

This was just the sixth run of Zarinski’s life, just his second of the season, and it was a marked step up from maiden win at Dundalk in April on his first try at a mile and a half. It was legitimate to expect a marked improvement in form, as his trainer John Oxx is not a man to send a horse to Royal Ascot if he doesn’t think that he can be competitive. Zarinski is by Dalakhani out of an Alzao mare who won over 10 furlongs, so it is hardly surprising that he stays a mile and a half well. Indeed, given the way that he stayed on well to take fourth spot, it is probable that a longer distance, softer ground or a stronger pace – or a combination of all three – would bring about even further improvement. The first three home in the King George V travelled in the first six throughout the race, so Zarinski did really well to come from the back to take fourth. There should be better to come, and he should be followed wherever he goes next.

18th June 2009