Horses To Follow » Maarek


The key to Maarek is obviously easy ground, and he tends to thrive at this stage of the season, so while he is hardly under the radar, he really impressed with the performance that he put up in winning the Group 3 World Trophy over five furlongs at Newbury on Saturday, and he may still be under-rated a little after this.

Well backed on course in the minutes before the race, the Barry Lalor-trained gelding showed a remarkable turn of foot to come from an unpromising position and win well, despite being hampered on his way through. He was out the back and had to be nudged along from an early stage, and he actually looked an unlikely winner two furlongs out, but he produced a really strong surge through the final furlong, having had to be switched and then brushing a rival on his way through, to win going away. The pace did collapse a little, and ultimately the hold-up horses were probably advantaged, but Maarek finished much more strongly than habitual fast-finishers York Glory and Kingsgate Native, both of whom had clear runs through.

The times say that it was good to soft ground at Newbury on Saturday, no worse, not the official soft, and Maarek should be even better on even softer ground. This was his second run for Barry Lalor, the way he was backed suggests he was going well at home, the way he finished confirms he is a horse in good heart, and he is not a horse to underestimate whenever he gets his ground. Given he has had a less prolific season up to now than last year, he may just be under-rated when he steps up in grade again now. He seems equally adept over five and six furlongs, and the Group 2 Sprint on Champions Day at Ascot that he won last year must be on his radar again now. He would also be a serious player in the Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp on Arc day if he takes his chance in that race on genuinely soft ground.

21st September 2013