More International Group Success for Maarek

The Sir Peter & Philip Vela bred international Group 1 winning sprinter Maarek (Pivotal x Ruby Rocket) was back in the winner’s circle overnight, this time in England with victory in the Group 2 Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes over six furlongs at York.

The son of Pivotal was bred by Sir Peter & Philip Vela in partnership with the Stanley family’s New England Stud (based in Newmarket) which is managed by Peter Stanley. Maarek was sold as a yearling by New England Stud for 130,000gns to Shadwell Estate Company.

Maarek was the winner of the Group 1 Prix de L’Abbaye de Longchamp in France on the world famous Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe raceday. That win saw him penalised heavily with the handicapper and had to carry 9st 13lb or 63kgs to victory last night.

The seven-year-old gelding was having his first start for new trainer Evanna McCutcheon, who was assistant trainer to the gelding’s former trainer Barry Lalor. Maarek overpowered his highly touted rivals despite his weight disadvantage to win stretching away from the field by half-a-length for rider Declan McDonogh.

“I'm a very lucky person to have a horse like him. To be in this position is unreal,” commented the Ireland based McCutcheon.

“He got a fraction stronger over the winter and because he's a year older, it just took that bit longer to get him fit. He's always been an idle horse.

“He's now back in the swing of things finally. The first day the ground was very testing and he wasn't fit enough. He then ran a cracker at Naas when he gave 14lb to a very good horse, but he still gave a heave.

“He has a habit of being very slowly away so we asked to go into the stalls late today and he still had a little dance, but not too bad.”

Given the right track conditions Maarek looks set for a tilt at the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes and/or the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at the renowned Royal Ascot meeting.

“He'll go to Royal Ascot if there's an ease in the ground,” said McCutcheon. “He's in both races and he's very effective over both distances.

“There would be a possibility of running in both, but it would be very ground dependent.”

The Group 2 victory was Maarek’s 12th from 37 starts, with winnings of £616,485 for his owners the Lisbunny Syndicate.

Maarek is by Group 1 winning sprinter in Pivotal, a proven sire standing at Cheveley Park Stud in Newmarket in England. His dam, Ruby Rocket (Indian Ridge), was a dual Listed winner in Europe and is a half-sister to three stakes performed horses.