Horses To Follow » Kasbah Bliss

Kasbah Bliss

My natural inclination is to look for reasons why short-priced horses may not win, and may consequently be opposable, but it is very difficult now to find a flaw in Kasbah Bliss’s claim to the staying hurdlers’ crown after he treated a decent field of fellow staying hurdlers with contempt in the Rendlesham Hurdle at Haydock on Saturday. Okay, so Punchestowns wasn’t there, Duc De Regniere may not have run his race, and the presence of Hills Of Aran in second place, rated 25lb inferior to the winner, casts a little bit of a question mark over the form, but the manner of Kasbah Bliss’s win was hugely impressive.

This was Kasbah Bliss’s first run for four and a half months, and the ground was far softer than he likes, so it is almost certain that he will improve considerably for this. He improved on the flat since his previous run over hurdles, winning a Group 3 race over two miles at Longchamp, and it looks like he is continuing that improvement over hurdles. Trainer Francois Doumen avoided the slogs through the winter in order to have him cherry ripe for the World Hurdle. He only went down by a length to Inglis Drever in the race last year, and may even have beaten the undisputed champ had his run been delayed a little longer. He handles Cheltenham, he will love the likely better ground, and he is still only seven years old. If you are looking for a Cheltenham banker, this is it. Ladbrokes go even money about Binocular in the Champion Hurdle, and they go 6/4 about Kasbah Bliss in the World Hurdle. I know which one I would prefer back. Horses being horses, however, I will wait until the bookmakers go non-runner-no-bet, and will be happy to pay a quarter of a point for that concession.

14th February, 2009