Maarek’s late-summer goal is likely to be the defence of his crown in the totepoool Beverley Bullet as racing returns on the Westwood this Wednesday.
The Group One-winning sprinter claimed the £50,000 Listed race in thrilling fashion last season and is already in contention for a significant double in Beverley’s keynote event on August 27.
County Tipperary trainer Evanna McCutcheon said: “We had a great day last year and we were really well looked after, so there's absolutely no reason why we wouldn't think about the Beverley Bullet again. Beverley’s a lovely course and even though he possibly didn't handle the track, he got there in the end, which was great to see. It's a nice prize at the right time so the Bullet is definitely on the list.”
Maarek made a pleasing return to action at Doncaster on April 2 when he finished third in the Cammidge Trophy. And before his big day at Beverley, the gelded son of Pivotal is again likely to be sent across the Irish Sea in pursuit of more prize-money.
McCutcheon added: “We were very happy with him at Doncaster as he's an impossible work-horse and we wouldn't know where we stood with him, fitness wise. We'll have a look at Newmarket but the ground might not be right for him, so there's also the Naas race (Woodlands Stakes) as an option. He's also entered at York (Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes), so we'll think about that as well. He'll have lots of options again, but, as always, it will depend on where the ground is best for him. He's still a very good horse when things fall right — as he showed in the Beverley Bullet last year."
Having spent over £800,000 in refurbishments, Beverley racecourse is set fair for its seven-race season opener on Wednesday, with the meeting due to begin at 2pm. Feature race is the £11,500 N L Van Truck And Car Hire Handicap over five furlongs, which attracted 23 entries at the confirmation stage.
Even in spite of significant racecourse improvements, a commitment to prize-money remains a core value on the Westwood.
Beverley chief executive Sally Iggulden said: "Prize-money continues to be a main feature for us, and no class five race will be run for less than a £6,000 total prize fund, as we recognise the importance of this level in our sport. We push ahead with our quality races, and aim to increase the competitiveness of racing on the Westwood. An investment of over £800,000 since Christmas has seen a full refurbishment of the Attraction Restaurant, which is now comfortably amongst the best in the country, as well as upgrades to the Racecourse Lodge, car-parks and stableyard. It's been all systems go this winter to make for an even better venue and sporting spectacle for our racegoers."