Horses To Follow » Barizan


The Evan Williams-trained Barizan ran out a ready winner of a Class 2 juvenile hurdle at Market Rasen on Saturday. Although he adopted front-running tactics to win his previous two races over hurdles, he was happy enough to sit behind Royal Max in the early stages of the race before taking it up over the first flight in the back straight, after which it never looked likely that he wouldn’t win. Forty Thirty closed up menacingly at the end of the back straight, but in truth he was never going to trouble the winner.

This was a decent performance. Forty Thirty is a good yardstick, and Barizan just ran away from him. Barizan seemed to improve for the fitting of a visor for his penultimate and last runs before Saturday and for the adoption of front-running tactics, so it was encouraging that he was happy enough to take a lead here in the early stages.

This race is the first really competitive juvenile hurdle of the season, and is often a good pointer to the remainder of the season, and can even be a good pointer to Cheltenham despite the fact that it is run in September on a right-handed flat track, which is the chalk to Cheltenham’s left-handed undulating cheese. Katchit won the race in 2006 and Franchoek won it in 2007.

Evan Williams ran Simarian in the race last year, and he could only finish fourth before he went and won the Class 2 juvenile hurdle at Cheltenham’s October meeting and the Grade 2 juvenile hurdle at Cheltenham’s November meeting. Simarian was a similar type to Barizan, an ex-flat horse, and Aga Khan-bred horse who was trained by John Oxx as a two-year-old, but he was a more talented sort, he won a nursery off a mark of 75 on the flat. Evan Williams suggested afterwards that this fellow is probably better than Simarian and, as such, he will be of big interest for the Grade 2 juvenile hurdle at Cheltenham in November.

26th September 2009