Horses To Follow » Espanito Bello

Espanito Bello

Espanito Bello did well to get as close to Coko Beach as he did in the Grade 2 Ten Up Chase, on his first run in two months and his first run over three miles over fences.
He wasn’t brilliant at a few of his fences. He made mistakes at the first and third fences in the back straight final time, and he wasn’t great at the last fence before the home turn, but he closed on Coko Beach and Forza Milan at the top of the home straight, and he actually picked up just in front at the third last. He and Coko Beach moved on from Forza Milan at that point, and it looked like Barry Connell’s horse might have been getting the better of Coko Beach, when he landed steeply over the final fence, nodded on landing and lost momentum, and with it all chance of winning the race.

We will never know how this would have panned out had Espanito Bello jumped the final fence well, but even if he had run Coko Beach close, it would still have been a fine run by the Turgeon gelding. He looked good in beating Coko Beach and Longhouse Poet in a beginners’ chase over two miles and three furlongs at Naas in December on his previous run, and that form has obviously been enhanced since. Coko Beach won the Thyestes Chase in January, and Longhouse Poet stayed on well in a three-mile beginners’ chase at Punchestown on New Year’s Eve to beat Run Wild Fred, subsequently second to Coko Beach in the Thyestes Chase, and The Big Dog, who won the Grand National Trial at Punchestown last weekend. Espanito Bello saw out this three-mile trip well and, still only seven with just four runs over fences on his CV, he has plenty of scope for progression now, especially if he can brush up on his jumping a little, which he may do as he gains more experience. The handicapper raised him by just 1lb for this to a mark of 147, and that is a mark off which he will be of interest in a high-class staying handicap chase. He stayed this three-mile trip well, and he could be an Irish National horse.
Navan, 21st February 2021