Horses To Follow » Marleno


Marleno deserves a mention after finishing third in the 14-furlong bumper that ended proceedings at Cheltenham on New Year’s Eve. An unconsidered 40/1 shot who had been well beaten on his only previous start, in a bumper on the Polytrack at Lingfield, he was very keen through the early stages off an unsuitably slow pace, so much so that it wouldn’t have been surprising had he completely capitulated when the dash for home developed from the home turn, but that wasn’t the case. The German-bred gelding actually moved nicely up the far side as the pace increased, and arrived there with a dangerous-looking challenge on the run to the furlong pole. He had no answer to Tetlami’s turn of foot, but he kept on well up the hill, just losing out on the runner-up spot to the Alan King newcomer Romulus D’Artaix, with the front three pulling well clear of the remainder.

This was Marleno’s first run on turf, and he performed admirably in what may prove to be a strong enough contest. He is a half-brother to Minaad, who won over a mile and three quarters on the flat and over two and a half miles over hurdles, so he should be seen to better effect with a tougher test of stamina. He should be better over further and with a stronger pace. He may well continue to be under-rated, and he will be of interest wherever he runs next.

1st January 2010