Maarek Takes Aim at Bullet

Group One-winning sprinter Maarek is poised for another big-race assignment in England after he was confirmed for the Listed totescoop6 Beverley Bullet on Saturday.

The eight-year-old Irish sprinter, trained in County Tipperary by Evanna McCutcheon, is on course to feature in the £50,000 Bullet over five furlongs after finishing fifth behind Mattmu in the Phoenix Sprint Stakes at the Curragh on August 9. Maarek has continually been thwarted by the weather in a decorated career, but hopes are high the ground will be in his favour on Beverley's richest ever raceday. 

McCutcheon said: "Maarek has got an entry at Newmarket on the same day, but I'd say the Beverley Bullet is more likely at this stage. We'd love to run him. He's ready to run and likes to be kept busy, but, as always with him, it's all about the ground as he never wants it too quick. When we have been able to get him out this season, he's run very well. Seamie (Heffernan) got off him after the Phoenix and was very, very happy as he obviously needed the run. He was obviously a bit ring-rusty as it was his first start since May, so you'd like to think there's a fair bit more to come.
I've had a couple of runners before at Beverley. It's a very good track and there's a lot of prize-money on offer, so it would be great to get him there."

Maarek is one of 21 confirmations for the Beverley Bullet, for which compatriot Dikta Del Mar, trained by Tom Hogan, could also travel across from Ireland. 

The locally-owned Tangerine Trees won the race in 2011 before claiming a Group One success in the Prix de l'Abbaye a few months later at Longchamp. Bryan Smart could give the 10-year-old another chance to shine on the Westwood, where he may be accompanied by stablemate Red Pike. 

Popular veteran Kingsgate Native won over course and distance last September and is again in the hunt for Newmarket trainer Robert Cowell, who has also entered Iffranesia.

North Yorkshire handler Paul Midgley is similarly double-handed with Line Of Reason, a close third in the Bullet 12 months ago, and Silvanus.

Alben Star (Richard Fahey), Confessional (Tim Easterby), Katawi (Chris Wall) and Online Alexander (Kevin Ryan) are others of note in the coveted Listed affair, won 12 months ago by Pearl Secret.

Saturday's £136,000 card is due to begin at 1.45pm, with the going on Monday afternoon officially described as good, good to soft in places. Beverley also throws open its doors for a top fixture on Sunday, with £60,000 up for grabs in prize-money. Chief executive Sally Iggulden said: "The totescoop6 Beverley Bullet Stakes is our racing highlight, and it is no secret that we have ambitions of upgrading it to a Group race in time. Previous renewals have been exceptional, and this year looks to be a belter, too. To show the significance of this day, we've put on a fantastic supporting card, and Saturday sees the richest ever raceday at Beverley. We thought, 'In for a penny, in for a pound', and have also put on a cracking card on Sunday to give racing fans a full feast in East Yorkshire."