by Duke of Marmalade ex Shimoni ( Mark of Esteem )
Bought (well!!) by Mark and Oliver St Lawrence for 14000 Guineas at the October 2014 Tattersalls Yealing Sales he has proved to be a real success for his Owners and for the Yard. As with a lot of potentially nice staying horses he was fairly backward and immature at two and only ran the twice, a promising sixth in a quality Ascot Maiden over seven furlongs in September 2015 and a steadily going on fourth over an extended Mile in one of Nottingham's back end Maidens.
After finishing well over an inadequate ten furlongs at Wolverhampton in March he than ran a series of three progressive races in Handicaps over twelve furlongs, finishing second at Windsor, winning decisively a competitive Class Five Handicap at Haydock in May before producing a fine staying performance to win the much better class and quite valuable (and one of the oldest races run in the Calendar) Bibury Cup at Salisbury.
Marmajuke Bay wins Salisbury's Bibury Cup
His size and his relative immaturity make him a horse we would not want to run, for the time at least, on anything other than easy ground and the firm ground of the high Summer meant his opportunities and targets (we were originally looking to run in the Melrose Handicap at York's Ebor Meeting in August) were slightly restricted and he next ran in the valuable Knowsley Handicap at Haydock at the beginning of September, going over fourteen furlongs for the first time and finishing strongly to be third in a slowly run race. A slightly lesser race, the reasons for which are hard to quantify, over the same trip back at Salisbury followed in the first week of October but he resumed his progression by decisively winning a Class Three Handicap on Kempton's polytrack at the end of the month on his final start of the year.
He improved by a stone and two pounds over the course of the 2016 turf season and is a horse of considerable potential as he matures and as part of managing his physical development he spent over two months at Hollybush Farm over November and December and here he is telling some of his people all about the future.
He returned to Rowdown during the first week of January and Mark opted for a fairly low key return to the track; he opened his four year old year by running an excellent race to be second in a Class Four Handicap back at Kempton in the first week of April, his lack of sharpness just enabling the racefit winner to just get to him in the final 75 yards after looking the likely winner at the distance; if you go here you can see this race and the further improvement he made; two further runs followed, the paucity of spring rain leading to a similar level of performance to that at Kempton in a valuable twelve furlong Handicap at Wolverhampton at the end of April and something of an unfortunate run at York in mid May where some very significant rain fell quickly on firm ground that produced a loose top surface that didn't suit him.
After a short break at Hollybush Farm immediately after running at York Mark returned him to the track in a quite valuable Class Three Handicap at Haydock on better ground in the middle of June; which he won really decisively and you can see a video of this performance here
Two runs in high class Handicaps at Ascot and at Nottingham followed in which, despite finishing fourth and sixth, he showed that he was not quite as effective over fourteen as over twelve; reverting to a mile and a half in the first week of September he won a valuable Class Two Handicap at his favourite Haydock (here) as equally decisively as he had won in June.
And if you were to click here to see him working early on the morning of 25th August 2016 prior to finishing third in the Knowsley Handicap and here to see him winning a Class Three Handicap at Kempton at the end of October 2016.
Marmajuke Bay's racing form, courtesy Racing Post