Horses To Follow » Beshabar


There was a lot to like about the performance that Beshabar put up in landing the two-and-a-half-mile handicap hurdle at Ascot last Saturday. Always prominent, the Flemensfirth gelding jumped well but came under pressure down the side of the track as the pace increased. However, Beshabar continued to find willingly for rider Ruby Walsh, and went two lengths clear on the run to the second last. He jumped the last two flights well and battled on gamely to hold the late surge of Tender Falcon for a near half length winning margin.

This trip is a minimum for Beshabar – his first preference on the day was a three-mile hurdle at Haydock, but he was re-routed because of the doubt about that meeting going ahead – so it was a particularly game effort.

He is eight years old, but he has run in just six hurdle races in his life and he continued to progress. The handicapper has raised him 7lb for this, but he should have at least that amount of progression in him, and he should improve again for stepping up in trip. He is a big strapping horse, made for chasing, and he ran well on his only run over fences to date, his first for Paul Nicholls, when he finished fourth behind Synchronised at Chepstow in December. He is in the Coral Cup at Cheltenham, but his new mark of 149 would make that difficult for him over two miles and five furlongs. He will be difficult to place now over hurdles, he is not a novice and he is high enough in the weights. Perhaps the Long Distance Hurdle at Aintree or the Long Distance Hurdle at Haydock on Swinton Hurdle day could be races for him – he handled good ground well when he won a good novices’ handicap hurdle at Sandown last March – but essentially he is an exciting staying novice chaser for next season.

20th February 2010