Horses To Follow » Up The Beat

Up The Beat

Up The Beat did better than his finishing position suggests in finishing fourth in the Kim Muir, nine lengths behind Sunnyhillboy.

Willie Mullins’s gelding made nice progress down the hill to arrive there travelling like a likely winner going around the home turn. You can excuse him for not going on from there, he had done a lot of running just to get into a challenging position in a race that favoured those who raced handily (six of the first seven home raced prominently, Up The Beat was the only horse to get into the race from the rear), and he kept on well up the hill to take fourth spot.

Up The Beat remains a highly progressive individual. On his final run before Cheltenham, he had finished second to Portrait King in the Punchestown Grand National Trial, and that horse went out and won the Eider Chase at Newcastle on his only subsequent run off an 18lb higher mark. Up The Beat raced off a mark of 143 in the Kim Muir, 13lb higher than his Punchestown mark, but his new Irish mark is 140, and that alone makes him potentially well-handicapped. Put that with the fact that he has raced just four times over fences, that he has winning form at Fairyhouse and that he has huge scope for progression, and he becomes very interesting as a contender for the Irish National, a race that young horses have dominated in recent years. (Only two of the last 14 winners were older than eight).

15th March 2012

© The Sunday Times, 25th March 2012