Horses To Follow » Kazlian


Kazlian was stuck widest of all right over on the stands side at the two-mile start as the tapes went up in the Fred Winter Hurdle on Wednesday, he was quite far back too and, in wanting to get to the front, he had to use up a fair bit of energy in the very early stages of the race.

Once he had worked his way to the front going down the back straight, he was enthusiastic, probably lit up by his rider’s early urgings, and he bounded into a clear lead at the top of the hill. Tom Scudamore then kicked on going down the hill, opening up an eight-length lead at the third last with everything in behind seemingly struggling. His lead was slowly eroded up the hill, but it still looked as though he might hold on as he jumped the last, but the energy that he had expended just told and he could only finish fourth in the end.

The fact that Lemon Drop Red, the horse who headed the pursuit down the hill, was ultimately well beaten, and that the second and third both came from a long way back, suggests that Kazlian probably put up a huge performance to last as long as he did out in front and to not be beaten that far. He is much better than the bare form of this race suggests. The Pipe team were considering the Triumph Hurdle for him in the build up to Cheltenham and, given a slightly less forceful ride, he could well be good enough for the Grade 1 juvenile hurdle at Aintree in a year without a standout juvenile. Kumbeshwar ran a really good race in that contest last year after a great effort in defeat in the Fred Winter, and there is probably no juvenile as good as Zarkandar around this year. The one worry is that he will not have recovered from his exertions here on time, and there is also a chance that he will be over-bet, that too many people have spotted him as an unlucky loser, but he is at least worth keeping an eye on for now and, if, indeed, he is over-bet and he does run disappointingly at Aintree, he could be under the radar for next season.

14th March 2012