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Straight challenge for promising Marcel

3 min read

Written by Paul Vettise

Marcel From Madrid (Sepoy) can press his claims for higher honours when he takes aim at an age group feature at Flemington on Saturday. Although he will be stepping out of his comfort zone in the G2 Danehill S., his connections are still expecting the 3-year-old to give a bold account of himself.

Unbeaten in two appearances last season, including victory in the G3 National S., at Morphettville, he resumed with a solid performance for fourth in the Listed McKenzie S., at Moonee Valley. He has trimmed up with the outing, although co-trainer Simon Zahra said the best was still to come.

“He covered a lot of extra ground last time out and the track was playing a bit funny that day. He galloped nicely on Tuesday morning. He is going to improve again and we haven’t really pushed the button yet.

“He is going to improve again and we haven’t really pushed the button yet.” – Simon Zahra.

“It’s his first time down the straight at Flemington so we’ll have to wait and see how he handles that, he’ll run a good race we’re sure.”

Out of the Redoute’s Choice mare Lipari, Marcel From Madrid is a half-brother to the G1 Australian Derby winner Levendi (Pierro) and a grand-son of the G1 Australasian Oak winner Tully Thunder (Thunder Gulch).

He was purchased for $58,000 at the Inglis Classic Sale by Pacific Bloodstock’s Mark Hoare, who has remained in the ownership. Given his half-brother by Sebring realised $500,000 at the Easter Sale last year, Marcel From Madrid is proving a smart piece of business.

Marcel From Madrid was a $500,000 Easter purchase

“We’re planning to go to the Guineas Prelude with him and, if it looks like he’ll get a mile, the Caulfield Guineas.” - Simon Zahra.

“We’re planning to go to the Guineas Prelude with him and, if it looks like he’ll get a mile, the Caulfield Guineas,” Zahra said. “We’ll probably freshen him up and maybe look at the Coolmore, if he’s going well enough.

“He’s going to keep improving and his coat hasn’t come through yet – he might be the best 3-year-old we’ve got.

“He does pull quite hard, but a bit of racing will take the edge off him. Getting him to relax and switch off is the key.”

Guineas hopefuls

The other 3-year-old event on the Flemington card will feature a clash of the unbeaten duo Brutal (O’Reilly {NZ}) and Declarationofheart (Declaration Of War {USA}) in the Listed Antler Luggage Plate when they test their Caulfield Guineas credentials.

The latter is coming off a midweek Sandown win a month ago and the colt won a barrier trial at Cranbourne last week in the hands of race day rider Mark Zahra.

“We were really happy with his trial and Mark has been in a couple of times to gallop him and he really thinks he's improved,” trainer Anthony Freedman's racing manager Brad Taylor said.

“It's a massive step up taking on the likes of Brutal and those sorts of colts, but we strongly believe the Flemington 1400 metres is really going to suit him and if he's going to be up to running in the Caulfield Guineas he'd have to be competitive here.”