Wednesday 21 March 2018

McCutcheon wants rain at newcastle for Maarek

Maarek, with Jamie Spencer up racing at the Curragh back in 2012
Maarek, with Jamie Spencer up racing at the Curragh back in 2012 Newsdesk Newsdesk

Evanna McCutcheon will keep a close eye on the weather before making a late decision over the participation of Maarek in the Betfred Chipchase Stakes at Newcastle on Saturday.

The eight-year-old is one of 24 entries for a six-furlong Group Three he won back in 2012 when trained by David Nagle. While yet to win a race this season, the son of Pivotal has run well in defeat on each of his three starts, recently finishing second behind Mustajeeb in the Greenlands Stakes at the Curragh.

McCutcheon said: "The Chipchase is an option but we are on weather-watch as usual. He's in great order but we will leave it until the last minute to decide as there is also a race in Germany next week that he's in.

"He came out of his race at the Curragh really well and is crying out for another run. The form has been boosted with Mustajeeb running well at Ascot.

"Although he doesn't have to have bog-like conditions, he does need the rain to take the sting out of the ground."

Last year's winner Danzeno could bid for a repeat success after being left in by trainer Mick Appleby, while the James Tate-trained Ruwaiyan, runner-up 12 months ago, also holds an entry.

David O' Meara is one of five trainers with two possible runners, with both Watchable and That Is The Spirit in contention to run.

Meanwhile, Aidan O'Brien is to set to add Epsom Oaks winner Qualify to his team for this Saturday's Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby.

The daughter of Fastnet Rock was a shock 50/1 winner of Epsom's fillies' Classic earlier this month, a victory which entitles her to a free entry into the Irish Derby thanks to the new 'win and you're in' incentive.

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport