Horses To Follow » Zaarito


Zaarito put in a fine performance to finally get off the mark over fences in the two-mile-three-furlong beginners’ chase at Leopardstown on Tuesday. Colm Murphy’s gelding was quite badly hampered by the fall of Chasing Cars at the first fence. He had to almost jump over his stricken rival and he did well to stay on his feet, but it meant that he almost came to a standstill and had to get going again, which wasn’t ideal on the soft ground. Fortunately, they weren’t going that fast early on and rider Denis O’Regan wisely allowed his horse time to regain his composure and his position. Second last of the leading group of eight heading down the back straight final time, Zaarito’s jumping down that part of the track was good, with the result that he jumped the last in the back straight almost upsides the leader Browns Baily. He moved up easily on the outside of the leader going around the home turn, had gone two lengths clear by the time they reached the last fence with O’Regan sitting motionless, popped the final obstacle and moved away easily up the run-in to win by eight lengths.

This race probably didn’t take as much winning as it might have done. Chasing Cars’s departure at the first fence robbed the race of a lot of its interest, and Jessies Dream was just a half a length behind Zaarito, and arguably travelling as well, when he came down at the second last. You never know what would have happened had Gordon Elliott’s horse stood up, but he hadn’t jumped as well as Zaarito up to that point and, such was the ease of Zaarito’s victory, you have to think that Jessies Dream would have had to have found a lot in order to beat him. He may well have done, and he should be worth following as well, he was so progressive over hurdles last season – on a line through Noble Prince and Uimhiraceathair he was a better hurdler than Zaarito – this was his first chase and he should be even better over further. However, it looked like Zaarito won with plenty in hand, he moved strongly up to the winning line, and the time was good, comparatively the fastest chase run on the day, and that includes the Lexus. Colm Murphy’s gelding was only just beaten by Captain Cee Bee on his previous run at Naas, when he took a little while to settle. He seems to be progressing nicely over fences now, he settled much better here, he will be better on better ground, and he should take a high rank now among the novice chasers this season.

29th December 2009

© The Irish Field, 2nd January 2010