Horses To Follow » Malabar


Mentioned here after she won at Goodwood in August (and again in HTF Private after her run in the Moyglare Stud Stakes at The Curragh in September), Malabar is worth noting again after her run to finish fourth in the Prix Marcel Boussac at Longchamp on Sunday.

Mick Channon’s filly was quickly enough away from a good draw in stall three (of 12), but Richard Hughes was happy enough to allow the others go on, with the result that his filly got shuffled back in the field. She was second last when they made their first turn, at the point at which Christophe Soumillon decided to drop anchor in front on Ervedya, after he had got her there from her wide draw, and the pace remained slow from there. Even when the outsider Thank You Bye Bye raced around the field and went on about four furlongs from home, she didn’t kick on from there, she just sat in front for a furlong and a half, and they actually did not kick for home until they reached the two-furlong pole.

Second last place is not the position that you want to occupy when the pace is slow, especially at Longchamp with its easy downhill finish, and Malabar was always going to struggle to get into the race from there. Angled out early in the home straight, she actually did not get into the clear until she came widest of all, around the entire field. Stone last with just 200 metres to run, she passed eight of her 11 rivals between then and the winning line, just getting up to beat Queen Bee for third place and finishing about five lengths behind the winner Found.

This was another noteworthy run from Malabar and she remains progressive. She was most impressive in winning at Goodwood on her penultimate run before Sunday, and she did not have the run of the race when she finished fourth in the Moyglare Stud Stakes. That Moyglare race is working out ridiculously well. There have been just five runners from the race to date: before Sunday runner-up Lucida had won the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes and fifth-placed Osaila had won the big fillies’ sales race at Newmarket, while sixth-placed Qualify had won the Group 3 C L Weld Park Stakes at The Curragh. Now third-placed Found has won the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac.

Malabar is by Raven’s Pass out of the Nashwan mare Whirly Bird. As such, she is a half-sister to Clowance Estate, a middle-distance and staying horse, and Royal Signaller, a dual winner over a mile and a half. A mile should really be a minimum for her, she stays that trip well, but she could do even better stepped up in trip. She remains a high-class juvenile, and she is potentially a Classic filly for next season.

5th October 2014