Horses To Follow » El Beau

El Beau

El Beau put up a nice performance to land the 10-and-a-half-furlong handicap at York on Sunday.

Solid in the market beforehand even though he was a 16/1 shot, the John Quinn-trained gelding  was nicely settled in mid-division through the early stages of the race. He travelled well into the home straight for Joe Doyle and, even though he had a wall of horses in front of him at the three-furlong pole, it was still apparent that he was travelling better than most of his rivals around him. When he did get the gaps, he moved forward quite quickly. Doyle had to sit up on him again for a few strides on the run to the furlong pole to wait for the final gap but, once that developed, El Beau picked up well to move through it. He quickly went two lengths clear, and he had enough in hand to hold off the late lunge of the well-backed filly Distain on the near side.

It was a fine effort from El Beau. He showed a nice turn of foot to go clear of his rivals in the centre of the track, and he ran all the way to the line. The race was run at a strong pace, it did favour the hold-up horses, and Distain did come at him late on from the back, but El Beau was the best horse in the race, he beat the well-fancied favourite by three parts of a length, and the pair of them were nicely clear of their rivals. Also, the winning time was good, the fastest comparative time on a decent day’s racing on the Knavesmire.

Winner of his maiden as a two-year-old and a progressive juvenile hurdler during the spring for John Quinn, El Beau had a nice break after he finished second in a juvenile hurdle at Stratford in March, shaping with encouragement on his return to the flat in a nine-furlong handicap at Hamilton in August. That run obviously brought him forward again and that, probably together with the step up in trip on Sunday, enabled him put up the best performance of his flat career.

The handicapper will probably give him a couple of pounds for this, but he shouldn’t be too harsh, and the Camacho gelding probably has plenty of scope anyway off Sunday’s flat mark of 76, especially given that he is rated 130 over hurdles.

His trainer mentioned a race at Ayr on Ayr Gold Cup weekend as his next objective, and he will be interesting in that, even at a higher level than this. He won his maiden on soft ground at Ayr, and he ran well there on his only other visit, so the return to that track is a positive, and any easing in the ground between now and then should not be a concern.

6th September 2015