Horses To Follow » Quest For More

Quest For More

Quest For More put up a big performance in the circumstances to finish second behind the progressive Astronereus in the 12-furlong handicap at Newmarket on Sunday.

Warm beforehand and free to post, Roger Charlton’s horse was also free through the early stages of the race. He broke slowly enough from the widest stall of the 13 runners, but he tanked his way through the first two furlongs and raced widest of all around the only bend on the track to take the lead as they straightened for home, 10 furlongs out. He settled in front, that may have been James Doyle’s plan, and he led the field at a decent pace. He came under pressure three furlongs out as Watersmeet loomed up on his outside, but he responded well for that pressure. Watersmeet drifted to his left and out of contention, which left Astronereus as the leader’s main danger. Amanda Perrett’s horse got past inside the furlong pole, and it looked as if Arab Dawn was going to pass him for second place, but Quest For More battled back gamely on the far side to retain second place and to give the winner a bit of a scare, getting back to within a head of him at the winning line.

This was a really good performance from the Teofilo gelding, competing over a distance that is surely short of his optimum now. The winner and the third are both progressive middle-distance handicappers, and the race was run in a good time, just 0.09secs/furlong slower than Racing Post standard. Quest For More himself was progressive last season as a four-year-old – his first season as a gelding – over a mile and a half, but he put up the two best performances of his career on the two occasions on which he raced over two miles, at York in August, when he was beaten just a half a length by Edge Of Sanity, and at Ascot in October, when he won a decent handicap off a mark of 87.

He raced off a mark of 90 on Sunday, and that is obviously a mark that is well within range. He will probably get a few pounds from the handicapper when he re-assesses him next week, but he does have some leeway.

He should come on for this run too. He has never won on his seasonal debut, but he has won twice out of three attempts on his second run back, so next time may be the time to catch him. He is an interesting horse now anyway, and he will be of particular interest when he steps back up to two miles. He handles good ground, but he seems to go particularly well on fast ground, and the fact that he has run well in the past at Ascot and at York leaves those options open to him.

3rd May 2015