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Beat Le Bon

Beat Le Bon did well to finish as close as he did in the Class 2 handicap at Newmarket on Tuesday. It was a race in which, and a day on which, it was an advantage to race prominently and towards the stands rail. The first four home in this race were drawn, respectively, eight, nine, 11 and 12 of 13 stalls (12 runners, with Gallipoli withdrawn from stall seven after bursting out the front of the stalls before the starter said go), and the four of them occupied the first four places from flagfall. By contrast, Beat Le Bon was drawn in stall four, towards the far side, and he was restrained towards the rear of the field. As well as that, he was keen early on, he wasted energy in wanting to go faster than rider Sean Levey wanted him to go. Still a little keen passing the four-furlong marker, he picked up on the run to the two-furlong pole. It never looked like he was going to get to the winner Double Or Bubble, who ran out an impressive winner, but he kept on really well out in the centre of the track to finish fifth, missing out by a short head and a nose for third place.

Richard Hannon’s horse did not lack for race fitness going into the race, he had run four times since the turn of the calendar year, but three of those runs were on all-weather and one was in the Listed Doncaster Mile. Winner of the Golden Mile at Goodwood in 2019, his four runs last season were all in Group company, and he proved his class when he finished second behind Regal Reality in the Group 3 Sovereign Stakes at Salisbury last August. This was his first run in a turf handicap since his Golden Mile win, and this run suggests that his current rating of 105, 5lb lower than his peak, could under-rate him at least a little. Gelded at the end of last season, he will be of interest in a valuable handicap now, or in a listed race, ideally over a mile, although he is also effective over seven furlongs. He goes well on good and fast ground, and he will be of particular interest when he goes back to Goodwood, where he has run three times and won twice. The Golden Mile would be a legitimate target again this season.
Newmarket, 13th April 2021