Horses To Follow » Markab


Markab ran a cracker on his first run for nearly two months in the Group 3 Shadwell Stakes (formerly the Hackwood Stakes) at Newbury on Saturday on ground that should have been softer then ideal. Henry Candy’s stalwart was very smartly out of the stalls and quickly into his stride towards the near side, setting a good clip. The horse who tried to go with him, Retainer, was burned off a furlong and a half out and ultimately finished tailed off, and Markab had all those in behind in trouble soon after they passed the quarter-mile pole, except for Deacon Blues, who is a really progressive sprinter, a talented individual on easy ground, this being another big step up on his Wokingham victory. The fact that Markab was able to keep on again after Deacon Blues passed him was impressive given how fast he had gone through the early and middle part of the race, and he emerges with huge credit in finishing a length and a quarter in front of the rest.

Henry Candy’s gelding always looks burly, but he probably takes more getting fit these days than he used to, he is eight years old after all, and so he should come on for this run, his first in nearly two months. He had been slightly disappointing on his first two runs of the year, but he may have needed those runs and he has been carrying hefty penalties for his Group 1 Haydock Sprint Cup win last September. This was a bounce back to form and perhaps he will come into his own in the autumn again now. He could be in line for a crack at the Haydock race again, and he would be of big interest in that as long as the ground doesn’t come up too soft. The Henry Candy stable has been fairly quiet through July and so Markab may indeed be able to do even better when the yard is back among the winners more regularly.

16th July 2011