Horses To Follow » Zalty


Zalty ran a cracker to finish third in the Scurry Handicap at The Curragh on Saturday from stall seven.

He had a nice position under Conor Hoban from early on in the race in the far side group, but the near side is usually where you want to be on the straight track at The Curragh when the track is at its widest, as it was on Saturday and, sure enough, by the time they passed the three-furlong pole, the leaders on the near-side were about five lengths clear of the leaders on the far side.

Zalty joined the leaders on the far side at the two-furlong pole, got the better or Yeeoow on the far side at the furlong pole, and ran all the way to the line to finish second overall, a half a length behind the winner Line Of Reason, but about two and a half lengths clear of Dashwood, who did second best of those who raced in the far side group.

Dashwood did well to get that close from stall one, but Zalty did even better to finish second. The first four horses were nicely clear of the rest of the field, and the other three had emerged, respectively, from stalls 18, 21 and 25. Also, this was a good race, it was a hot handicap as it almost always is, and it was run in a really good time, the only time that dipped below standard on the day, Irish Derby day.

This was Zalty’s first run over six furlongs – for all that the Scurry is run over an extended six furlongs – since he won his maiden at 25/1 on his racecourse debut as a juvenile at Dundalk in November 2012. David Marnane’s horse has won over a mile and over seven furlongs in the interim, and he shaped well over seven furlongs at Naas on his last run before Saturday, but this was probably a career-best.

He has the pace for this trip, and the fitting of blinkers for the first time may have helped. The handicapper has raised him 4lb, but his performance merited that at least. He goes well on Polytrack and on fast ground, and he will be interesting when he races next on either of those surfaces over six furlongs with his blinkers retained.

28th June 2014