Horses To Follow » Karezak


Karezak did well to get as close as he did to John Constable in the one-mile-five-furlong maiden at Navan last Sunday.

The Aka Khan horse was settled nicely towards the rear of the field by Declan McDonogh through the early stages of the race.  He did come under pressure early in the home straight, but he responded for that pressure.  He made good progress on the far side, and he probably hit the front at the two-furlong pole before John Constable loomed up threateningly towards the stands side.  It appeared at that point as if the Ballydoyle horse was going to go on and win well, but Karezak continued to find for pressure.  There was a lot to like about the manner in which the son of Azamour battled all the way to the line, running John Constable to three parts of a length and pulling eight and a half lengths clear of his other rivals.

The John Oxx-trained gelding can be marked up at least a little on the bare form of this run, given that he raced towards the far side in the home straight.  There appeared to be an advantage to be gained from racing towards the stands side at Navan on the day, as John Constable did, and it was an advantage that appeared to grow in strength as the day progressed, so it was probably fairly significant by the time this race, the sixth on the day, was run.

As well as being able to mark him up on the bare performance, there are four significant reasons to expect that Karezak can progress from this now.  Firstly, it was just his third ever run.  Secondly, it was his seasonal debut.  Thirdly, it was his first run since he was gelded.  And fourthly, it was the longest distance over which he had ever raced.  His two runs last season were over a mile and seven furlongs respectively, so this was a significant step up in trip to a mile and five furlongs, and it was a step up that he appeared to really appreciate.  He is a son of King George winner Azamour, and there is plenty of stamina on his dam’s side.  He got this trip really well, and he could even improve for stepping up again in distance on this evidence.

The handicapper has given Karezak a rating of 86 after this run, and that is more than fair.  He will be really interesting in a handicap off now that mark, and it is interesting that his astute trainer has given him an entry in the Group 3 Curragh Cup.

18th May 2014