Horses To Follow » Zaarito


Zaarito didn’t lose much caste in going down by a neck to Captain Cee Bee in the two-mile beginners’ chase at Naas last Thursday. Colm Murphy’s gelding is a highly-charged individual, the main objective has always been to get him to settle in his races and, while he was a little free through the early stages of this contest, he did settle well for Paul Townend here going down the back straight and, when he did, his jumping was good. He looked to be travelling better than both Captain Cee Bee and An Cathaoir Mor on the approach to the last, but he got that one a little wrong and landed flat-footed while Captain Cee Bee flew it and landed running. He got back after JP McManus’s horse on the run-in, but it never looked like he was going to get to him, and he went down by a neck in the end. This was much more like it from Zaarito. Winner of his three bumpers in Ireland two seasons ago, all of them really impressively, he was sent off as favourite for the 2008 Cheltenham Bumper, but he had a rough enough time of it through the race, and came from a difficult position to take third place behind Cousin Vinny. His trainer never seemed to be fully happy with him last season, although he probably would have won a novices’ hurdle at the Punchestown Festival in April had he not taken a crashing fall at the final flight in the race won by Copper Bleu. He is apparently a highly-strung individual, and he didn’t settle that well on his chasing bow at Thurles last month, but he had jumped fairly well and he was still travelling well when he fell at the second last. This was obviously a much more satisfactory performance, a clear round and a completion was probably the primary objective, but he jumped even better here, and he should be better again as he gains in experience and continues to learn to settle better. He is another exciting novice chaser.

3rd December 2009