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Champions Series Dark Horses: Qabala

13 Feb 2019

The daughter of Scat Daddy looked an exciting recruit when winning on her debut at Newmarket.

Qabala, left, grabs Desirous close home  on her Newmarket debut. Picture:


Trainer: Roger Varian. Form: 1

Roger Varian

has failed to make a great impact in the QIPCO British Champion Series in the past couple of years.

The Newmarket-based handler enjoyed three Group 1 triumphs in 2016 via Postponed (twice) and Belardo but success has since eluded him.

Varian will no doubt put that right sooner rather than later, and he has an intriguing prospect on his hands in Qabala, who looked an exciting prospect when winning on her debut over seven furlongs at Newmarket in late September.

Those who sent her off the 7-2 favourite had a few anxious moments, not least when the more experienced Desirous got first run on her off a steady gallop.

However, Qabala stayed on well after travelling sweetly to collar her in the closing stages and win by a head under Silvestre de Sousa.

We did not see the daughter of Scat Daddy again in the autumn but those she conquered more than upheld the form.

Desirous went one better next time at Kempton, while the third home, Rainbow Heart, bolted up by eight lengths in another Newmarket maiden a month later. More of her another day!

Baba Ghanouj, the fourth, did her bit for the form, too, when winning in tidy style at Wolverhampton on her next start.

Qabala, owned by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani, is bred to stay at least a mile and it will be interesting to see if she gets a chance to show what she can do in one of the Classic trials this spring.

She is quoted at 50-1 with bet365 and Unibet for the QIPCO 1000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 5. The fillies’ Classic has a wide-open look with the bookmakers offering 10-1 the field.