Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Stoute Claims for Pontefract Glory

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Stoute Claims for Pontefract Glory

Article excerpt

Byline: Naomi Matthew Racing Correspondent

MUNAASER shaped with abundant promise on his sole juvenile appearance and is strongly fancied to get his three-year-old campaign off to a winning start in the High-Rise Maiden Stakes at Pontefract.

The extended 10-furlong contest was won by subsequent Dante Stakes winner and Epsom Derby runner-up Libertarian 12 months ago and while it may be fanciful to suggest Munaaser is set to scale similar heights, it is not out of the question, as he does hold entries in both races.

The New Approach colt had clearly been showing Sir Michael Stoute plenty prior to his racecourse introduction at Yarmouth last September as he was sent off a heavily-supported 6-4 favourite for a seven-furlong maiden. Like the majority of the stable's newcomers, Munaaser appeared in need of the experience, but there was plenty to like about the way he came home to pick up minor honours in third, beaten little over a length.

The form is watertight with the winner, Oxsana, narrowly held in Listed company a couple of stars later, while the runner-up, Torchlighter, bolted up on his next start and ended the campaign with a mark in the high 80s.

There is little doubt Munaaser will benefit from the step up to a mile and a quarter and he will have to win and win impressively if his Classic engagements are going to be fulfilled.

The Marco Botti-trained Quiet Warrior has plenty of untapped potential ahead of his handicap debut at the West Yorkshire circuit.

The Kodiac gelding looked a winner waiting to happen when beaten a neck on his Kempton debut over seven furlongs, so it was no surprise to see him go off at odds-on when he turned up over a furlong shorter at the track in mid-December.

While he was entitled to secure victory, it was still difficult not to be impressed by the manner of his runaway success, leaving the impression he was in a different league to his opponents on the day. …

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