Past Winners » Quinz


I am backing Quinz. Philip Hobbs’s horse has a lot in his favour. He tried jumping fences two seasons ago, but that didn’t really work out for him, with the result that he was switched back to hurdles. Second time around over fences this season, he has been much better.

He won his beginners’ chase at Exeter, and then put up a really impressive performance to beat Far More Serious at Ascot in November. He jumped really well that day and came right away from his rivals before the home straight. Far More Serious is a good handicapper who upheld the form when he beat yesterday’s Sandown winner Dashing George in a good race at Bangor three weeks ago.

Quinz’s only run since was in a hot novices’ chase at Cheltenham’s December meeting. He was ridden aggressively and he kicked on at the top of the hill, before being overhauled on the run to the second last, but there was still no disgrace in finishing third behind Time For Rupert (rated 161) and Chicago Grey. That race was over three and a quarter miles, he should be much more at home back over three miles. Also, he is probably better on a flat track than he is going up and down hills, so the return to Kempton should suit. Significantly, he won a hanicap hurdle by 20 lengths on his last run at Kempton, and he is three for three at right-handed tracks in the last 12 months.

There’s more. Philip Hobbs has a great record in the Racing Post Chase, and it is probable that he has had the race in mind for Quinz since December, hence his absence since then. Also, he wouldn’t want deep winter ground, so the fact that they are saying this morning that the 2.5mm of rain that they had overnight has not affected the ground, that it is still genuinely good to soft, is good news.

On top of that, Kempton’s chase track is a track for horses who race handily. It is very difficult to make ground from the back at Kempton, so the track should play to Quinz’s running style, much more even than the hurdles track does. He may not lead Nacarat, but if he can sit in behind him fairly handy, that could be the ideal position.

The fact that Richard Johnson has chosen to ride Quinz in front of Hobbs’s other horse Mostly Bob, who is not without a chance, is significant. The rider said during the week that it was a tough decision, 51-49 he said, but, even if it was that close, it was still 51-49 in Quinz’s favour.

Quinz’s rating of 144 is 14lb higher than the rating off which he raced at Ascot, and that makes it tough, but he is only seven, he has raced just six times over fences, he has huge scope for progression still. Statistically, he has the right weight for the race of 11st (seven of the last 10 winners carried 11st or more) and the right rating (four of the last five winners were rated between 141 and 147). He is a bet.

QUINZ WON (ADV 8/1, SP 8/1)