Horses To Follow » Kayf Blanco

Kayf Blanco

Kayf Blanco did well to get as close as he did in the two-mile handicap hurdle at Cheltenham on Friday.

Settled towards the back of the field through the early stages of the race by Kielan Woods, it wasn’t in his favour that the early pace was slow. Even so, he made nice progress on the run down the hill, and he latched onto the back of the large group of horses who arrived there with a chance as they rounded the home turn. Moved towards the far side on the run to the final flight, he couldn’t see a stride on the run to the last and he bungled the obstacle a little, which meant that Solstice Star emerged about six lengths ahead of him. That was just too great a deficit and, although he stayed on well up the hill, the winner just had too great a start, especially given that he had been allowed set a sedate enough pace. Kayf Blanco did well to stay on as well as he did to take third place.

This was a good run from Graeme McPherson’s horse. The winner Solstice Knight was 2lb well-in under his penalty and he had won his previous three, the runner-up Mad Jack Mytton was continuing his progress after a blip in the Greatwood Hurdle, and the fourth horse, A Hare Breath, was and is a highly progressive lightly-raced hurdler. Also, the winning time was good, the fastest time of the day and marginally faster than Racing Post par.

Kayf Blanco is not especially lightly raced, but this was probably a career-best from him, and he remains progressive. He was due to go up 5lb after this, and he will find life tougher off a career-high mark of 140, but he will do better off a faster pace or ridden closer to the pace. He ran better than the bare form of this run suggests and, as a result, he might be under-rated next time.

11th December 2015