Horses To Follow » Salden Licht

Salden Licht

There was a lot to like about the way Salden Licht held on to win on his seasonal reappearance on the flat in a 12-furlong handicap at Doncaster on Saturday. He was held up through the early stages, about fourth-last in the 20-runner field, but he still travelled well for jockey Paul Mulrennan. There was a wall of horses in front of him at the three-furlong pole and Mulrennan had to switch him left to the inside rail to get a run. He came through really well to take it up just as they went past the two-furlong pole, which was probably plenty early enough, especially given that this was his first run since last April. But he still picked up well to go a few lengths clear and then battled on gamely to hold off the late burst of the favourite Alazan inside the final furlong.

This was a really promising run from Salden Licht and he has the potential to be high class back over hurdles now. It was his first run in 191 days and he was carrying top weight, which meant he had to concede at least 5lb to every other runner. The second horse, Alazan, was a good winner on his reappearance at Sandown, which meant he had an edge on fitness here but he just couldn’t get past Alan King’s horse here.

The son of Fantastic Light looked smart over hurdles last year, when his trainer was having a torrid time with his horses. He won well on his debut and followed up with a good win at Plumpton, before disappointing behind Escort’men and Frascati Park at Kempton, where his trainer reported that he wasn’t quite right. He was given a break and he made a really pleasing reappearance at Cheltenham’s open meeting, finishing second to the potentially top class Captain Chris, and he may have even been closer that day had Robert Thornton held on to him for longer.

Given that he has had only had four starts over hurdles, there could be a lot more to come from him this season over hurdles. He will be interesting if he takes his chance in the November Handicap, but he will be even more interesting back in a handicap hurdle, possibly the Greatwood, off a mark of 142. He could be one of a number of Alan King-trained horses who could be well-handicapped this season.

23rd October 2010