Horses To Follow » Markaz


Markaz put up a good performance to win the Group 3 Chipchase Stakes at Newcastle last Saturday.

Quickly into his stride on the far side after a questionable break, he was third through the early stages of the race behind a solid pace that Watchable set. Eased into a share of the lead by Paul Mulrennan at the two-furlong pole, he picked up impressively when his rider asked him to. He quickly went a half a length in front under just a hands-and-heels ride as his rivals came under pressure in behind. From that point, it always looked like he had everything under control. Pretend came with a late lunge on the stands side, but it never looked like he was going to get there, and Markaz probably won with a fair bit more in hand than the one-length winning margin.

This was much more like it from the Owen Burrows-trained colt. He was beaten in that good listed race at Leicester that Home Of The Brave won on his seasonal debut, and he didn’t have the run of the race on his second run, behind So Beloved at Haydock, when he was further back than ideal and wider than ideal around the home turn. That was over seven furlongs, and all his good runs last season – including his Group 3 win at Newmarket – were also over seven, but he proved on Saturday that he had six-furlong pace.

He was under consideration for the July Cup after this, a plan that has now been scrapped, but the fact that he was under consideration for it is a measure of the regard in which he is held. He is a classy horse, and he will be of interest again now wherever he goes next, over either six or seven furlongs. He holds an entry in the Lennox Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, and he will be of interest if he lines up in that. He was only beaten a half a length in a nursery at Goodwood two years ago on his only run at the track.

25th June 2016