Horses To Follow » Eclair De Beaufeu

Eclair De Beaufeu

Eclair De Beaufeu ran a big race to finish second in the Grand Annual. Gordon Ellliott’s horse travelled and jumped well in midfield for Sean O’Keeffe, and he moved up nicely among horses around the home turn. He was still going well when he was slightly hampered by the mistake that Jan Maat made in front of him at the second last fence. It wasn’t a hugely significant incident, but Chosen Mate was making his ground on the outside at the same time, and suddenly Eclair De Beaufeu was playing catch-up. Chosen Mate made a mistake at the last, but he stayed on really well up the hill and Eclair De Beaufeu just couldn’t catch him. That said, he ran all the way to the line to take second place behind his stable companion, nicely clear of the third horse Us And Them.

Eclair De Beaufeu is only six, a year younger than his stable companion, and this was just his sixth chase. He ran a cracker too in the County Hurdle at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival, he unseated at the final flight when still in front, and he was nicely progressive this season over fences. The handicapper raised him by just 3lb for this to a mark of 152, which is fair. Next year’s Grand Annual is a legitimate long-term aim, given his age and his profile and his proven ability at the Cheltenham Festival, and the fact that horses who have done well in the Grand Annual in the past can often go back and run well in the race again. But he will also be of interest in all the good two-mile handicap chases next season.

Cheltenham 13th March, 2020