Horses To Follow » Maywood


Maywood won a Class 3 handicap at Newmarket last Saturday on his first run at three in pretty ready fashion in the end under the young French rider Mickael Barzalona. He missed the break and took a while to get into stride in a race that wasn’t run at a great pace at all, so it wasn’t ideal that he was last through the first half of the race. He crept into it on the near side of the group and picked up nicely once he had come right over to the stands rail, finishing well to get up and beat two progressive horses in Dubai Queen and Ektibaas. Maywood himself was backed so had obviously been impressing someone at home.

All the talk afterwards was of the jockey, and his manoeuvre towards the near side, so the horse’s performance in its own right may have gone a little under the radar, especially as people may think he benefited from racing under the stands rail. He may not have though, actually the overwhelming evidence from the previous day’s racing was that the centre to far side was very much the place to be with the stands side being disadvantaged. Indeed, even for the rest of Saturday’s races it seemed the far side was still favoured, Laajooj winning the second race, the Listed Fairway Stakes, from the far side, one of only two of six to race over there, with the other one, Buthelezi, finishing second despite hanging right across the track with a quarter of a mile to go. It seems Maywood’s performance should be marked up a fair bit accordingly.

While the handicapper has understandably taken pretty strong action, raising him 10lb to a mark of 96, it could well be Pattern races for the son of Cape Cross from now on. He has only won a Brighton maiden at two and a handicap off a mark of 86 on his first run at three, but he seems capable of a good deal better. The maiden he won last October has worked out well with four of the seven to race subsequently finding the winner’s enclosure, and this race looked strong beforehand, Dubai Queen was a well-touted and well-backed favourite, a half-sister to Dubawi. A race like the Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot could be ideal for Maywood now. A step up to 10 furlongs should hold no fears.

28th May 2011