Horses To Follow » Shartash


Shartash only got home by a neck in the end in the listed seven-furlong contest at Haydock on Saturday, but he shaped like a horse who had more in hand than that. Sharply away, he raced prominently from flagfall, up on the outside of the leader Pogo. He travelled well into the home straight, and he picked up nicely at the two-furlong marker when rider Joshua Bryan asked him to. About three lengths clear on the run to the furlong pole, he looked set to post an impressive victory, but he just tied up a little inside the final 150 yards as Pogo closed him down again, he had been in front for a while but, while he only got home by a neck, he never really looked in danger of losing the race.

A dual winner for Johnny Murtagh as a juvenile, Shartash was impressive in winning a warm conditions race at Thirsk last month on his first run for Archie Watson. Back in second that day was Saturday’s Victoria Cup runner-up Ramazan, while in third was former Chesham Stakes winner Holloway Boy and in fourth was last year’s International Handicap winner Baradar. Shartash was winning for the second time in as many runs for Archie Watson on Saturday, at the same time proving that he could operate on fast ground. That opens up more options for him, he has lots of pace, but it may be that he will still be at his best on ground with a little bit of cut in it. A close-up fourth in the Group 3 Hackwood Stakes at Newbury last July, an easy seven furlongs or a still six seems to suit him well.

Haydock, 11th May 2024