Horses To Follow » Chti Balko

Chti Balko

Chti Balko was unlucky to come up against his stable companion, William Of Orange, rejuvenated after his wind operation on the soft ground that he loves, in the 2m handicap hurdle. Always prominent, Donald McCain’s horse took up the running from Sleepy Haven at the end of the back straight, and he looked a likely winner when he travelled well in front to the second last flight. His stable companion was his only danger at that point, and he ultimately gave best to him, conceding a total of 25lb, including the winner’s rider Lorcan Murtagh’s claim, and going down by 3l in the end. But Chti Balko still finished 9l clear of the third horse Spectator, in a race that was run in a good time.

The handicapper raised Chti Balko’s mark by 4lb to a mark of 142, but this was probably a career-best performance, and he is only six, so he still has the potential to go higher still. He does go well at Haydock, but he also goes well at Newbury, so it may be that it is a flat, left-handed track that plays to his strengths, that he is not just a Haydock specialist. As such, he would be of interest if he lined up at Aintree, although there is a slight concern that his forward-going style of racing is not ideally suited to the hurdles track there. He would be of greater interest if he went to Ayr for the Scottish Champion Hurdle, or if he returned to Haydock for the Swinton Hurdle. And slightly better ground would not be a major negative. He obviously goes well on this soft ground, but he has good form on good to soft ground too.

Haydock, 31st March 2018