Horses To Follow » Quinz


Quinz was a very impressive winner of the Racing Post Chase at Kempton on Saturday.

He travelled up very easily and took it up from the free-going Safari Adventures at the 13th. He went clear with Nacarat, who rarely runs a bad race round here turning out of the back straight, but the frenetic pace they had gone seemed to have taken its toll and he looked beaten when Mount Oscar came to him between the last two fences (Colin Tizzard’s horse traded at 1.1 in-running). Quinz picked up impressively though when the other horse came to him, he was probably just idling and probably had plenty left to give, pulling clear again in the closing stages.

He is a really good looking horse, a big natural chaser and he jumps well now having been switched back to hurdles last season after an unsuccessful few runs over the bigger obstacles. It is pretty hard to believe given how well he has returned to chasing this time round that he couldn’t win a novices’ handicap off 119 in three tries last season. He was winning this ultra-competitive handicap off 144 and has subsequently gone up 9lb to 153. This performance puts him right in consideration for a crack at the Grand National, and after weighing it up for a few days connections have given him the green light to take the challenge at Aintree where he will be running off his old mark off 144, which will see him race off 10st 8lb as long as top weight Don’t Push It runs.

He may not be best going up and down hills, although he still put up a good effort to finish third to clear RSA Chase favourite Time For Rupert previously at Cheltenham (with the National Hunt Chase favourite Chicago Grey in second), and he did jump a little to his left here, so Aintree, a flat track also, should suit him even better. That said, the three-mile chase around Aintree’s Mildmay track may have been the race for him this term. The Grand National is a big ask this year. No novice has won the National since Mr What in 1958, no seven-year-old has won it since Bogskar in 1940. Owner Andrew Cohen has gone close to Grand National success before with Suny Bay twice finishing second and Zeta’s Lad one of the market leaders for the void race in 1993, and is understandably very keen to go for the big one now with Quinz, but it may just be that he is at least a year too early.

26th February 2011