Horses To Follow » Fredo


Fredo put up a nice performance to win the Pertemps Qualifier at Haydock on Saturday. Always travelling well for Tom Scudamore, he was the only horse still on the bridle at the top of the home straight. He joined leader Minella Boys, still on the steel, between the third last and second last flights, jumped to the front over the second last, eased clear on the approach to the last, jumped that flight well and pulled right away to post a really impressive victory.

A two-mile novice hurdler last season, Ian Williams’s gelding improved for stepping up to two and a half miles earlier this season, and appears to have improved again for the step up to three miles. He ran Volador to a half a length over two and three-quarter miles at Wincanton in January, and was ridden with exaggerated waiting tactics, presumably to try to help him get the trip, when a running on sixth behind Alfie Sherrin on his previous run at Newbury seven days before this, when he was never really close enough to be in with a chance of winning the race. He was ridden much more positively here, and it worked, he saw the trip out well, he probably improved for it, and he should progress again from this.

The Pertemps Final at the Cheltenham Festival is his obvious target now. He probably had to win this well if he was to be in with a chance of getting into that race, so I wouldn’t be too concerned about the fact that Scudamore rode him out all the way to the line. His old rating of 120 was probably well below what will be required to get a run. The handicapper could give him upwards of 10lb for this, which would be ideal, a rating of 130 should see him get into the Pertemps Final in the low 10sts. Somewhat paradoxically perhaps, the Pertemps is not a race for clever plot horses, with eight of the last 14 winners of the race having won last time out, so it is in Fredo’s favour that he won this. Ballyfitz won this race in February 2008 before going on to win the Pertemps the following month off a 7lb higher mark. Fredo is only six, he is highly progressive now over long distances, and it would not be surprising if he had a fair go at emulating Ballyfitz’s feat.

20th February 2010