Horses To Follow » Maknificent


Maknificent put up a good performance to finish third in the 10-furlong apprentices’ handicap at The Curragh on Sunday, and can probably be marked up a fair bit given how the race was run.

Michael O’Callaghan’s filly was quite smartly away but, on her first attempt at 10 furlongs, Killian Leonard allowed the front-runners at it and allowed his filly time to find her racing rhythm. She got shuffled back a little on the sweeping run down around the home turn, however, with the result that, when they started to straighten up with three and a half furlongs to run, she was no better than 18th of the 19 runners. Moved towards the centre of the track, she started to make her ground under just a hands and heels ride. Still no better than 11th when they passed the furlong pole, about five lengths behind the leader, she finished best of all to get up and take third place.

This was a fine run by Maknificent, coming from the rear, as she did, in a race in which the pace held up well. The second, fourth and fifth were all in the front rank as they started to turn for home, while the winner was chasing the leaders. Maknificent was the only horse who was able to get into the race from the rear, and she was only beaten a total of two lengths in the end.

This was another step forward from the Makfi filly. She has raced nine times this season, but this is her first season to race, she was unraced as a juvenile, and she continues to progress as she steps up in trip. Her best three runs have been her last three, all three over eight and a half furlongs or more. Sunday’s run was her first attempt at 10 furlongs, and she seemed to improve again for going the extra distance.

She is an improving filly anyway, and she seemed to appreciate getting her toe in a little on Sunday. She had run well on the only other occasion on which she had encountered easy ground when she finished in a dead-heat for third place, close-up behind Tudor City and Sakhee’s Jack in an eight-and-a-half-furlong handicap at the Galway Festival. She was unlucky that day too, she might have won had she enjoyed a clearer passage through the final furlong. The handicapper has raised her 2lb for this to a mark of 72, but that is more than fair. She will probably be seen to best effect now over 10 furlongs and on easy ground.

30th August 2015