Horses To Follow » Masaarr


It was a bit disappointing on the face of it that Masaarr could not finish any closer than fourth in the London Gold Cup, but events conspired against him. Settled in midfield early on behind a relatively sedate pace, he was keen enough behind horses until the pace lifted four furlongs out. Roger Varian’s horse travelled well early in the home straight, and he made nice ground towards the outside at the three-furlong pole. It looked at that stage as if he was going to be involved in the finish, but the front three quickened again on the far side, and he just couldn’t get close enough to land a blow.

He did keep on all the way to the line, he closed on the third horse Chief Ironside through the final furlong, but he couldn’t get closer to the winner Communique than the five lengths by which he was beaten. It was a race in which the prominent racers held sway. The first three home occupied the first three places from early, and they picked up again in the home straight towards the far side, as Masaarr tried to make his ground from mid-division out in the centre of the track.

The London Gold Cup is often a strong race, and this year’s renewal is already looking good. Connect, who finished last in the race, came out next time and won a good 10f handicap at Epsom on Derby day, a race in which London Gold Cup runner-up Poet’s Prince finished fourth. London Gold Cup eighth, Glencadam Master, finished second in a one-mile handicap at Doncaster next time, on the same day, Derby day, while ninth-placed Master Of Wine finished second in the 10f handicap on the same card.

Masaarr remains an interesting horse. He didn’t make his racecourse debut until last October, and he won on his second run, at Lingfield in November. On his second run this season, he stayed on well to win a handicap at Doncaster over a mile off a mark of 88. He was raised to a mark of 96 for the London Gold Cup, but he should be capable of going beyond that mark now. He is lightly-raced and he remains progressive, and this 10-furlong trip looks like a good trip for him.

Newbury, 19th May 2018