Horses To Follow » Munaaser


Munaaser ran a big race to finish second behind Basem in the Coral Challenge over a mile at Sandown last Saturday. Settled in rear by Dane O’Neill through the early stages of the race, Sir Michael Stoute’s horse was third last of the 12 runners as they rounded the home turn. Still travelling well at the top of the home straight, he made nice ground among horses towards the far side, moved into sixth place as they passed the two-furlong pole and picked up from there. He had to switch around Jacob Black inside the final furlong, but he finished best of all to just beat Master Carpenter for second place, just a neck behind Basem.

This was a big run from the New Approach gelding. It was difficult to make ground from the rear all weekend at Sandown. Jacob Black was eager to get to the front here and he set a good pace from early, kept honest by fellow front-runner Ifwecan, but the pace still held up will, with a lot of the prominent racers remaining prominent until deep inside the final furlong. Indeed, four of the first five horses home had raced prominently, Munaaser was the only one of the hold-up horses who was able to get into the race. The winning time was good, the second fastest comparative time of the and only marginally slower than the time that Golden Horn clocked in winning the Eclipse 70 minutes later, and the form is working out really well already, with third-placed Master Carpenter winning the John Smith’s Cup at York on Saturday off the same mark.

The handicapper raises Munaaser 3lb for this to a mark of 100, but that is more than fair. There could be a big handicap in him off that mark. He can be difficult to catch right, he hung continually to his right in a big handicap at Newbury on his debut this season and he was well beaten in the Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot, but he is obviously talented, as he proved when he finished second to Gm Hopkins in the Silver Cambridgeshire last year. A fast-run mile on fast ground probably suits him ideally, but he does get nine furlongs and he might be worth another try at 10. He holds an entry in the Betfred Mile at Glorious Goodwood, and he will be of interest if he takes his chance in that.

4th July 2015