Horses To Follow » Belami Des Pictons

Belami Des Pictons

Belami Des Pictons was seriously impressive in winning the three-mile novices’ chase at Warwick on Saturday. Disputing the lead from early up on the outside of Dig Deeper through the early stages of the race, Liam Treadwell allowed him stride on into the lead as they started off down the back straight, and immediately he had all his rivals in trouble. He was very good over the five fences down the side of the course, at the second of which his only really challenger Arctic Gold made a mistake, and from there the dangers were in front of him, not behind him. He jumped the last two fences really well, accurately enough to suggest that he had plenty of energy left, and he sauntered to a 22-length victory.

Belami Des Pictons won his two novice hurdles last March after joining Venetia Williams from France, and he has resumed his progression over fences this term. After an encouraging chasing debut at Fontwell in November, he stepped forward from that in winning a good novices’ handicap chase at Newbury on New Year’s Eve, when he battled on well to get the better of Aurillac and Some Are Lucky off a mark of 132. The handicapper raised him 6lb for that to a mark of 138, but because he raced in Saturday’s conditions race under a penalty, he was meeting three of his rivals on worse terms than would have been the case had the race been a handicap. He made light of that, however, he obviously progressed for the Newbury experience, and he could have progressed further for the step up to three miles.

He is an exciting staying novice chaser now. He is only six and he has raced just three times over fences, so he has bags of scope for progression. The handicapper raised him 10lb to a mark of 148, which puts him into graded race territory. He holds an entry in the RSA Chase, which is a measure of how highly his trainer rates him but, if he goes to the Cheltenham Festival, he could be of more interest in the three-mile handicap chase. He goes well on soft ground, but it wasn’t that soft when he won at Newbury on New Year’s Eve, and it may be that a test of stamina is more important to him than soft ground. He will be of interest wherever he goes next, and he could be a horse for some of the big staying handicap chases next year.

11th February 2017