Horses To Follow » Balboa


Balboa kept on well to finish second behind An Bradan Feasa in the Grade 2 juveniles’ hurdle at Cheltenham on Saturday. Settled in second early on behind clear leader Kourosh, Harry Reed was happy to allow An Bradan Feasa past him to lead the chasers as they raced down the back straight. The two leaders got away from him a bit on the run down the hill, but Balboa stayed on nicely up the home straight. He was hampered when Kourosh fell at the final flight, but he kept on takingly up the hill to get to within three lengths of the winner by the time they reached the winning line.

This was a good run by the Mondialiste gelding on his first run for Anthony Charlton. A 66-rated performer on the flat, he kept on well to win a juvenile hurdle at Chepstow in October on his final run for Milton Harris, and this was a nice step forward from that. The handicapper raised him by 15lb to a mark of 125, which looks harsh enough, but he is a progressive juvenile who still has plenty of potential. He could be a horse for the Fred Winter Hurdle in March, he obviously goes well at Cheltenham and he should appreciate the stamina test that that race usually presents, but he is also a horse who could do even better stepped up in trip. He can jump to his left, so he is probably at his best going left-handed.

Cheltenham, 16th December 2023