Horses To Follow » Michel Le Bon

Michel Le Bon

The slow pace of the two-mile-five-furlong novices’ hurdle at Newbury last Friday was all against Michel Le Bon. Well backed and always in the front rank, which is where you want to be when the pace is slow, he just got tapped for toe when the pace increased at the top of the home run. He did stay on really well, and was closing the two leaders, According To Dick and Fiftyonefiftyone down all the way to the line. He was aided by the fact that the runner-up drifted to his left and took the winner with him, but he got to within a length and a half of the winner, and that was admirable off the slow pace against a rival in According To Dick who could prove to be very high class.

This was the third run of Michel Le Bon’s career, and just his second run over hurdles. He is only six years old and he is certain to improve for this run. He is a half-brother to Beau Michel, winner of a three-mile chase, and to Marcus Du Berlais, winner of the Pierse Chase and placed in two Irish Nationals, so he is almost certain to benefit for a step up in trip. As such, the Sefton Hurdle at Aintree is the logical race for him in the short term. It may be significant that last year’s Sefton winner, Pettifour, won this Newbury race as a prelude to Aintree. However he fares for the remainder of the season, Michel Le Bon could make up into a really decent staying novice chaser next season.

© The Irish Field, 7th March, 2009