Mark Howard Publications Ltd

So near yet so far

01-July-2024 16:35
in General
by Admin

Roger Varian won the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket in the spring with Elmalka and Michael Jarvis' former assistant is likely to have left the Curragh on Sunday feeling he could have added to his Classic tally with a bit more luck. The highly regarded Matsuri was an eight lengths winner of a ten furlongs novice stakes at Leicester last month and faced a huge step up in class in the Irish Derby. However, the well bred son of Sea The Stars certainly didn't look out of place amongst the eight strong field. Positioned on the far rail, James Doyle's mount travelled smoothly and was still on the bridle approaching the hometurn. Crucially, Doyle allowed Robert Havlin aboard Ambiente Friendly to get first run which resulted in Matsuri being stuck in a pocket while both Los Angeles and James Fanshawe's runner got away. Then, to add insult to injury, Oisin Murphy riding Sunway ensured the Varian runner was trapped in once again. Only beaten a length and a half, it can be argued Matsuri wasn't quick enough to get himself out of trouble but one can't help feeling he never got a proper crack at Los Angeles. Aidan O'Brien claims the Curragh is one of the fairest tracks in the world with no excuses - I am not sure Roger Varian will agree and remember Bay Bridge in last year's Tattersalls Gold Cup behind Luxembourg? Sir Michael Stoute's runner got hemmed in on that far rail in the homestraight. Plus, Rogue Millennium suffered the same fate in the Lanwades Stud Stakes in May. On a positive note, Matsuri is an exciting prospect for this year and next and hopefully he gains a Group 1 success one day. 


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