Horses To Follow » Medinas


Medinas did well to win the Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las on Saturday after stumbling fairly badly on landing over the second last flight. He remains an interesting and probably under-rated horse.

Alan King’s horse was around the inside the whole way, saving ground, but he did race up the far side in the home straight as a result, on what was probably the worst of the ground. He travelled strongly up the inside, right on the tail of the leader Double Ross down the back straight, but Wayne Hutchinson just had to wait for a gap around the home turn, creeping up the inside of Double Ross over the third last. Tanerko Emery had arrived on the near side seemingly still going powerfully at that stage, but it was Peckhamecho who emerged as the main danger when he got to the stands rail ahead of Tanerko Emery. Medinas was two lengths down at the final flight, having lost ground and momentum at the second last, but he stayed on really well to get up and win by over a length in the end.

The son of Malinas gets this two-and-half-mile trip really well on heavy ground, and he proved on his previous run at Cheltenham that he stays three miles as well. He stayed right up the inside on that occasion too, even in the home straight on the worst of the ground, and was probably disadvantaged by doing so in the heavy ground. That race just gets stronger and stronger as time goes on. The winner At Fishers Cross beat The New One in a Grade 2 contest at Cheltenham two weeks ago, while the runner-up from that race was impressive in winning a Grade 3 race at Clonmel on Thursday.

Medinas qualified for the Pertemps Final when running over two miles and five furlongs at Kempton earlier in the season, and that race is a big option for him now at the Cheltenham Festival, as is the Coral Cup. The form of all three of his previous runs this season is strong, it has all worked out and, although he has gone up another 8lb for Saturday’s win, which will make things tougher, he has only just turned six and there should be more improvement to come.

2nd February 2013