Horses To Follow » Qalinas


Qalinas looks worth following now after his slightly unlucky defeat to Kadouchski in a two-mile-one-furlong handicap hurdle at Sandown on Friday. David Pipe’s horse was well-backed here, and Conor O’Farrell rode him in a more prominent position than he had been on his two previous starts in Britain. Having led early on, he tracked the lead of High Hoylander down then back and took it up again at the third last with nothing travelling as well he was. He traded as short 1.03 turning in to the straight and it still looked like he would win easily after the second last, but it was here that the son of Malinas started to get tired on the testing ground. He actually collided with the rail on the way to the last, as he began to hang badly, and he ended up just getting outstayed by Kadouchski on the run in, as they finished fairly slowly on the testing ground.

Qalinas looks interesting now after this race and it’s is perhaps fairly significant that he was backed into a price of 20/1 for the Fred Winter Juvenile’s Hurdle at Cheltenham on the morning of this race. The Fred Winter is a race David Pipe likes to target and he is one of only two entries for the Pipe team this year. He probably needed to win here in order to get into that race you would have thought, as the handicapper has accordingly only put him up 3lbs for his effort in finishing second, which leaves him on a mark of 117. He surely would have won this race had he been held up for longer, but in the defence of his jockey Conor O’Farrell, he was probably going so well at the time that he just couldn’t have been held onto.

He is progressive now, he has improved with each run so far but the tactics to have him race him handier here seemed to work really well and he could be a better horse on better ground as well. He holds three entries for races this weekend which could possibly bring him up to a mark that would allow him to take his chance in the Fred Winter should he win, and it would be very interesting should he turn up at Cheltenham then.

25th February 2011