Horses To Follow » Sir Kezbaah

Sir Kezbaah

Sir Kezbaah put up a most encouraging seasonal debut in a handicap hurdle at Exeter on New Year’s Day over two miles and a furlong, running a cracker to finish second to Alan King’s Salden Licht. Settled just behind the leaders on the inside, he jumped fluently and crept right into it down the back straight. An untidy jump at the third last did not help his progress and Salden Licht came cruising through to take it up just before the last, but Jeremy Scott’s horse rallied well after the last to cut back the deficit to only a length and a half. It may well be that he will be suited by a step up to two and a half miles after running on so strongly, or it may just be that he needed this run and couldn’t quite hold his position after the third last when the tempo was really increasing. Either way, he should be much sharper next time, and this performance may well be underrated given how easy it looked for Salden Licht.

The winner is a very talented performer who enjoyed a good novice campaign last term and was good enough to win a 20-runner 12-furlong handicap on the flat at Doncaster in October off a mark of 95 (and finish fifth back there in the November Handicap off a 7lb higher mark two weeks later) and it may well be that he didn’t have as much in hand at the line as it appeared. Sir Kezbaah was making up ground at the finish and it would have been interesting to see what would have happened if he hadn’t have fluffed the third last and/or started to stay on slightly earlier.

This was a most pleasing comeback from Sir Kezbaah on his first run for Jeremy Scott (he was previously with Victor Dartnall) and he has only been raised 4lb for this, while the winner has gone up 10lb to 152. The race featured several promising young sorts but most of them were blown away by the useful winner, so it is to Sir Kezbaah’s credit that he really dug in and was not one of them. He should be more than capable of winning a similar race off his new mark next time. He seems to go on any ground as long as there is some sort of cut in it.

1st January 2011