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Maarek back in business




PA Wire/Press Association Images


High-class sprinter Maarek returned to winning ways with victory in the Woodlands Stakes at Naas.

Winner of five starts last season, including the British Champions Sprint at Ascot, the David Nagle-trained six-year-old relished the testing conditions as he burst through inside the final furlong to score by a length and a half.

Scream Blue Murder ran a big race in second behind the Seamie Heffernan-ridden 5-2 favourite, with Red Dubawi third.

Last year's Dewhurst runner-up Leitir Mor showed up well for a long way on his first start since Newmarket in October.

Nagle said: "I was a bit surprised by that - to tell the truth I thought he'd badly need the run.

"He's a bit special on that ground. While with other horses it slows them down, with him it quickens him up.

"He'll be entered in anything over five or six furlongs and the Golden Jubilee (at Royal Ascot) would be the main aim. He's very ground dependant, though.

"Seamie was very good on him, and hopefully we will have another long, wet summer.

"He's heavier this year and grew a lot early on, he could be a bit better this year."

Heffernan addedsaid: "Bottom line, he's a good horse."

PA Media