Horses To Follow » Khione


Khione ran a lot better than her finishing position in fifth place suggests in the Group 3 John Porter Stakes at Newbury on Saturday. Weak in the market beforehand, she was settled in mid-division of the nine runners and towards the outside through the early stages of the race. Andrea Atzeni had to niggle her along a little a half a mile out as the pace increased, but she did begin to find for pressure, and she didn’t lose much ground on her rivals as they all started to come under pressure also. However, she was squeezed out of it a little two and a half furlongs out as Astonishing moved over towards her. She just wasn’t travelling well enough to fight for her place. The net result was that she was shuffled back a little and Atzeni had to stop riding for a few strides and take her to the near side in order that she could run on again. Once he did, however, she found plenty for continued pressure. Racing towards the stands rail, probably on the worst of the ground, she ran on strongly all the way to the line to be closest at the finish, going down by a total of less than four lengths to the winner Cubanita, despite finishing fifth.

A dual winner as a three-year-old over a mile and 10 furlongs, Luca Cumani’s mare raced just once last season, when she won a listed race at Goodwood in May. She has obviously had her problems since, but the fact that she remains in training – when she is already a ready-made broodmare for her owner/breeders Aston House Stud as a listed race winner – is significant, and suggests that her trainer thinks that there is more to come. It is not a given that she will improve automatically for this, her seasonal debut, given that she won on her debut last season and the season before – but her weakness in the market suggests that she would improve for the run. Most of Luca Cumani’s horses do improve for their debuts at this stage of the season, and this was her first run for almost 12 months.

A mile and a half is probably a minimum for her now, and she may even improve for a step up in trip. There is plenty of stamina on her dam’s side, she could be a Park Hill mare later in the season, but she will be of interest now wherever she goes next.

12th April 2014