Horses To Follow » Marito


Marito is worth noting now after his run in the Jewson Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham. Setting off at the rear, he travelled well and moved closer up the home straight first time, and he continued to travel strongly down the back straight. Only ninth coming to the top of the hill, he crept into the race down the hill and had improved into fourth under Ruby Walsh over the third last, still with running to give.

He was starting to pick up well having been brought to the near side coming to the second last, he was only three lengths behind the leaders and shaping to mount a challenge, when he hit the second last and came down. Ruby was yet to really go for him and, while he may not have beaten Benefficient, he might have gone close and the pace did rather collapse up the hill – Changing Times and Module stayed on from behind Marito at the second last to get involved for places – so you have to think there was a good chance he would have finished at least second or third.

The German-bred gelding is young and still lightly-raced with significant scope for progression. He hadn’t been beaten far by Texas Jack and Lord Windermere on his previous run in a Grade 2 contest at Leopardstown, when he had had to make the running, and he looked better suited to this much more patient ride in this better race. The Powers Gold Cup may come a bit soon for him after this, especially after quite a heavy fall (and Rich Ricci and Willie Mullins probably have that race in mind for Arvika Ligeonniere anyway), as may the Manifesto Novices’ Chase at Aintree, although he would be worth considering if he was allowed to take his chance in one of those. He could be a horse for Punchestown, and he could be an under-rated horse going into next season. Three miles should be within his range next term.

14th March 2013