Prix Messidor route likely for Motamarris

Sheikh Hamdan colt showed speed and stamina in French Derby


Motamarris  is likely to drop back in trip after his fine run to finish third in the Prix du Jockey Club.

The Freddy Head-trained colt had won his first three races, but was taking a big jump in class for the French Derby.

Having helped set a strong pace, he was passed by French Guineas winner Persian King – who in turn gave best to impressive winner Sottsass.

“I thought Motamarris ran a hell of a race at the time, and I thought he ran a hell of a race when I heard how fast they’d gone for the first five furlongs,” said Angus Gold, racing manager for owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum.

“Apparently they went 1.02 for the first five and a half furlongs, which is serious pace, and he wasn’t left alone by the horse inside him – yet he still hung on to be third.

“That was his first run in a Pattern race, and he bumped into what I think are two very good horses.

“The second horse cruised up alongside us looking like he was going to win easily, yet the winner quickened up and went by easily, so I think that will turn out to be a high-class race.”

Motamarris’ performance was perhaps all the more meritorious, at a time when his stable is struggling to find winners.

Gold added: “I don’t think it’s any secret Freddy’s horses haven’t been in top form this year, but I saw the horse the day after the race and he still looks raw to look at – far from the finished article, so it surprised me how well he ran.

“Freddy thinks he’ll stay a mile and a half, but when we looked at his pedigree we’re now thinking of bringing him back to a mile.

“If he’s well he might run in the Prix Messidor over a mile at Maisons-Laffitte. If he has the pace for that then we’ll look at the Prix Jacques le Marois.

“He obviously stays further, but he has plenty of early pace, so it’s worth coming back in trip. I think he’s very much a horse for next year – he could be really smart next year.

“Hopefully his future is all ahead of him.”


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