When he won a Juvenile hurdle at Punchestown on Tuesday, Quilixios really took the eye. A smooth travelling son of Maxios, he never really came out of 2nd gear and took this race easily. Having been so impressive, it is no wonder he has gone straight to the head of the Triumph hurdle markets. When looking into Tuesdays race a bit deeper, he produced closing sectionals that were faster than the well thought of Sixshooter (Noel Meade) on the same card, a 140 rated horse in its own right. All this, whilst handing a 13 length beating to previous course and distance winner Scholastic.
All this excitement made me look a bit deeper at the horses profile. He is a son of Maxios, who won the Prix D’Ispahan and Prix Du Moulin in his racing days and has sired Group 1 Flat winner Diamanta. While his dam was Group 3 placed on the flat in Germany and is from a stamina laden family herself, with relatives that include the King George winner, Danedream. On breeding alone, he has been given a chance, with a good mix of stamina for hurdling from his Dam and tactical flat speed from his Sire.
He won his only start in France, when he was sent off at 8/1 at Compiegne in a 3-year-old hurdle. He travelled extremely well that day and took it up on the run to the last, pulling 12 lengths clear in easily the fastest time of the day. The race has worked out reasonably well, with 3 winners in behind and several who have run well in Listed races in France since.
He was purchased for €20,000 as a yearling and was owned by Patrice Detre, Thierry Cypres and a few others well known to the French jumps scene, whilst he was trained in France by Francois Nicolle, a master with Juvenile hurdlers. He has now changed hands, having been purchased by Cheveley Park in a private sale and left for Ireland, to join the growing list of stars with Gordon Elliott.
After Tuesdays win, the secret is perhaps out of the bag and with a trip to either Down Royal or Wetherby at the end of the month, he should confirm his place at the head of the Juvenile division so far this season.