Horses To Follow » Zawraq


There was a lot to like about the performance that Zawraq put up in winning the seven-furlong juveniles’ maiden at Leopardstown on Sunday. Sent to the front just about from flagfall by Pat Smullen, the Dermot Weld-trained colt settled into a nice rhythm in front. Tracked by the odds-on favourite Sir Isaac Newton from the end of the back straight, it looked like Aidan O’Brien’s horse had taken his measure when he went about a neck up just inside the furlong pole, but Zawraq battled back really courageously on the far side to get back up and win by a half a length.

Both the winner and the second are colts of significant potential. Sir Isaac Newton is a full-brother to Secret Gesture, he is a son of Galileo out of the Danehill mare Shastye, who is a half-sister to Arc winner Sagamix, and he was bought for 3.6 million guineas as a yearling. Zawraq himself is by Shamardal out of the Sadler’s Wells mare Sundus, a half-sister to Guineas winner Ghanaati and out of a half-sister to Nashwan. Both horses were making their racecourse debuts and both should obviously progress for the experience.

The overall winning time was not particularly impressive. There were four seven-furlong races run on the day at Leopardstown, and this race was the slowest of the four of them. The overall time may mask the quality of the performance however, because the last three furlongs were faster than the final three furlongs in the other three seven-furlong races, including the listed race for older horses won by the five-year-old Kanes Pass. Also, the first two came seven lengths clear of the third horse, which was a fine performance off a sedate enough pace.

Dermot Weld spoke in positive terms about Zawraq after the race, and he is an exciting prospect for next season. He could easily be a 2000 Guineas colt.

26th October 2014