Exeter Preview: Molo appeals on handicap debut
Molo could well have got in lightly on handicap debut in the 2m 3f contest at Exeter today (2.50) and looks a worthy favourite to make it a winning one for in-form trainer David Pipe.
The mare won in good style on debut in a bumper at Uttoxeter before overcoming an absence of 230 days to run out the smooth 3 1/2 length winner of a 2m 4f maiden hurdle at Newcastle on seasonal reappearance.
The five-year-old then ran below par when sent off the heavily-backed 2/1 favourite and pulled-up at Fontwell, but showed that run to be all wrong when a solid third of 14 to Morello Royale last time out over 2m 5f at Warwick.
Molo raced up with the pace in the latter until weakening two from home to be beaten 8 3/4 lengths, and the drop back to 2m 3f looks sure to suit.
The form of that race also looks strong in the contest of this contest as the runner-up Briery Belle has gone on to finish a highly creditable fourth in a class 1 Listed novice hurdle at Sandown off an official rating of 120.
Molo finished just 2 3/4 lengths behind Briery Belle, and that suggests an opening handicap mark of 114 may well be on the lenient side.
The daughter of Kalinisi also remains unexposed and open to further improvement after just four starts under rules, and with Tom Scudamore in the saddle looks weighted to take all the beating.
Pipe looks to have major claims of landing a double in the card with Qalinas in the extended 2m 7f handicap hurdle (4.20).
The eight-year-old was in fine form in the first half of 2013 when landing back-to-back successes at Lingfield and Taunton.
Qalinas was particularly impressive in the latter, cruising clear to score in with tons in hand by 12 lengths off a mark of 114.
The grey gelding then ran very well to finish runner-up in a class 3 contest off 125, is now able to race this lower grade class 4 contest off 115.
That is just 1lb higher than when last successful, and Qalinas signalled that his time was near last time out when beaten just 1/2 a length by Cash Injection at Chepstow.
Although Qalinas has been hit with a 5lb rise for that run, he remains well-treated on the pick of his form and the rise is offset by his riders’ 7lb claim.
2.20: Gold Present
2.50: Molo (NAP)
3.20: Fountains Blossom
3.50: Its A Long Road
4.20: Qalinas (NB)
5.20: Hollow Blue Sky