Guest post written by Elliot Slater
Much was expected of Jonjo O’Neill’s Quantitativeeasing last season, especially after he won his first two outings over hurdles. He didn’t win again, but showed he had plenty of ability, and having now opened his chasing account with a comfortable success at Fontwell he could potentially go on to much better things.
Among the best form shown by the gelded son of Anshan last term was his solid effort when finishing fifth of 28 to Spirit River in the Coral Cup at Cheltenham, on ground that would have been a shade quicker than is ideal for him. That race had probably left its mark when Quantitativeeasing headed to Punchestown a month later for the Grade 1 Cathal Ryan Memorial Champion Novice Hurdle, where he blundered his chance away when under pressure at the third last.
Definitely blessed with the build to be a chaser, there was little to enthuse over on his fencing bow behind Time For Rupert at Cheltenham in November, but encountering easier opposition and his preferred testing ground, the JP McManus-owned runner travelled in silky smooth fashion, coasting to the front on the bridle at the last and cantering clear of Fruity O’Rooney and former smart hurdler Straw Bear, to win as he pleased. The horse racing odds suggested he should win, but his performance was still impressive.
There is still a lot of progress to be made before O’Neill’s youngster can be talked of as a serious contender for honours, but it is clear that he has the ability to take higher rank at the chasing game, particularly if racing on very testing ground. Long term, Quantitativeeasing might be the right sort of the Grand National in 2012 or the following year, but for the time being he remains a horse to follow when encountering his preferred conditions.
A broadcast journalist specialising in horse racing for more than two decades, Elliot Slater remains a keen student of the form book and of handicapping. A successful tipster, he combines his knowledge of the on and off-course betting markets with an in-depth appreciation of pedigrees and bloodlines, factors that contribute to his all round understanding of the racing industry.