Horses To Follow » Maskada


Maskada could only finish third in the Opera Hat Chase at Naas last Saturday, but she is better than that. She led from early at a good pace, but her jumping wasn’t as good as it can be and, when she was challenged by Riviere D’Etel at the end of the back straight, she had no response. In the end, it was Allegorie De Vassy, who took no part in the early exchanges up front, who came from the rear to win easily.

Maskada is at her best when she is able to sit in behind a fast pace, as she proved at Cheltenham last year when she won the Grand Annual. That race is a legitimate target for her again this season. Henry de Bromhead’s mare has dropped back down to a mark of 149 in Ireland, and she has been given a British mark of 150, which is 8lb higher than the mark off which she won the Grand Annual last year. But she won with plenty in hand last season, she beat Dinoblue by six and a half lengths, and Dinoblue is now rated 19lb higher than she was then. She could be going to Cheltenham this year a little under the radar again.

Naas, 10th February 2024