Horses To Follow » Qhilimar


Qhilimar was having his first run for the Charlie Longsdon yard when just getting up on the line to win a Class 3 0-135 Handicap Chase over the extended three miles at Sandown last Friday from The Rainbow Hunter. He stayed on really well up the hill having been under pressure from a long way out and trading at 80 in-running having looked to be in a very unpromising position over the second last. He charged home up the inside to get there on the line.

He will be better over further and on a stiffer track; the sticky ground, fast pace and uphill finish really brought his stamina into play here over three miles and half a furlong. The trainer mentioned the Midlands National as a possible target and that is interesting as he has only gone up 5lb for this win and he has been competitive off 1lb lower than this twice before. Although he has never gone further than three and a quarter miles before, he clearly has deep reserves of stamina and has shown a liking for cut in the ground, often an indicator that a horse wants to go further. He has a good record when fresh; he ran well enough in an amateur riders’ race at Cheltenham on his seasonal debut, this win came on the back of a seven-week break, as did his previous win in Britain at Newbury in January 2010, and his second of two wins in his native France came after being off for two and a half months. He will have four and a half weeks between this run and the Midlands National, which should be just about long enough to get over these exertions. That said, he would be of even greater interest if he was kept for the Bet365 Gold Cup back at Sandown on 23rd April. He would be even fresher for that race if he didn’t race between now and then, and he demonstrated his ability to handle the Sandown fences here on his only visit to the track to date.

18th February 2011