Horses To Follow » Maqaasid


Maqaasid travelled really well through the early stages of the Nell Gwyn over seven furlongs at Newmarket last Wednesday, she quickened up well to join Sing Softly a furlong out, but just didn’t see it out as well as the first two. She had settled very well over this longer trip, which had been a worry beforehand given how much pace she showed as a two-year-old, and she showed a good turn of foot soon after the two furlong marker, showing courage as well to take the gap between Show Rainbow and the weakening Lily Again. She had to wait for the gap but quickened up nicely when it appeared to join the leaders and she battled bravely against Sing Softly for a furlong until worn down 100 yards or so from the line by favourite and the eventual winner Barefoot Lady. She kept on well enough to the line for third without seeming to quite get home.

That said, she was carrying a 3lb penalty and her trainer John Gosden said that he had left plenty to work on, so it may have just been a lack of fitness that was her undoing here rather than failing to see out the trip. Her pedigree suggests she should stay seven furlongs, and offers hope for a mile, the distaff side in particular as her dam, although by Storm Cat, is a three-parts sister to the 2009 Guineas winner Ghanaati, and a half-sister to Mawatheeq and Rumoush, both Group 1 placed over a mile and a half, coming from the family of the top class middle distance performers Nashwan and Nayef.

Although her sire Green Desert was a sprinter (even he finished second in his Guineas) and has a stamina index of 7.9f, this is actually a higher figure than the index of two of the sires of Guineas winners in the last 10 years, Hennessy the sire of Special Duty, and Efisio the sire of Attraction.

Maqaasid was a very fast early season two-year-old, good enough to win the Queen Mary over five furlongs at Royal Ascot, and it is easy enough to forgive her her runs in the Lowther and the Cheveley Park Stakes. She got a bump early on in the former and was lit up, seeing plenty of daylight from early and racing freely, and the ground would have been too soft for her in the latter contest, although she did do best of all of those who raced down the centre of the track. She seems to have done well physically again over the winter though, and she did settle well on this step up in trip. If she settles as well in the Guineas she will give herself every chance of getting a mile, and quotes of 33/1 would be generous in what looks like a weak enough year if you knew that the Newmarket Guineas was definitely the plan.

13th April 2011