Masar (pictured above), the horse who ran away with the Group 3 Craven Stakes at Newmarket last month prior to a fine effort in finishing third to Saxon Warrior in the Qipco 2000 Guineas, shouldn’t be forgotten and should stay Saturday’s Investec Derby trip, according to his jockey, William Buick.
The Charlie Appleby-trained son of New Approach is still available at 20/1 with Ladbrokes for the world’s greatest Classic race having been beaten only a length-and-three-quarters at Newmarket in the 2000 Guineas, a race for which he was well backed and sent off the 5/2 favourite. His nine-length romp in the Craven Stakes over the same course and distance a few weeks earlier was one of the most visually impressive victories in a British pattern race for some years as he slaughtered both White Mocha and Roaring Lion (see video below).
Charlie Appleby – Masar has improved mentally and there are no negatives.
— Racing UK (@Racing_UK) May 3, 2018
Roaring Lion got a lot closer to Masar in the 2000 Guineas but still had to settle for fifth before stepping his game up with an impressive win over the extended 10 furlongs of the Group 2 Betfred Dante Stakes at York a couple of weeks ago. Neutral observers might suggest that 20/1 Masar as opposed to the top priced 7/1 with William Hill about Roaring Lion for the Derby is good value.
20mm of rain on Tuesday night wouldn’t have been the ideal sight for supporters of Masar, but on his only outing in testing ground he did run well to finish third behind Happily in the Group 1 Prix Jean Luc Lagardere at Chantilly in October.
“He ran lovely in the Guineas and he should stay,” Buick told reporters. “He ran like he will definitely get further than a mile and obviously we meet the winner again, Saxon Warrior, but the Derby is the Derby – it is the ultimate race.
“It is a tough race and a lot needs to go right for you in it, whatever horse you are on. Masar has had plenty of racing experience, [has] the balance, and a really good attitude. He should relax nicely and we are very positive about him.”
Despite countless attempts over the last quarter of a century, Sheikh Mohammed, the owner and driving force behind the Godolphin team that owns Masar, still awaits his first Derby winner.
Written by Paul Alster
Paul Alster has been part of the British and international racing media for more than three decades working as a race commentator, TV/radio presenter, journalist, betting correspondent, SP returner, and form analyst. He’s always sought out overpriced runners in handicap races, a quest that excites him as much now as it did at the start of his career.