Horses To Follow » Elixir De Nutz

Elixir De Nutz

Elixir De Nutz is nine now, but, fitted with cheekpieces for the first time for the two-and-a-half-mile handicap chase at Wincanton on Saturday, he put up a performance that was up there with the best of his career. He had to get the better of an early duel for the lead with fellow front-runner Kiltealy Briggs, but he moved into a clear lead before they got to the second fence, and he didn’t see a rival thereafter. Kiltealy Briggs moved up on his outside again as they raced to the end of the back straight, but Brendan Powell was holding onto plenty at that point. He didn’t ask him to pick up until after they jumped the third last fence and, when he did, the response was impressive. He pinged the second last fence and came right away from his rivals over the last and up the run-in to win by over eight lengths in the end in a good time, the fastest comparative time of the day by a fair way and bang on Racing Post par.

Only just beaten by Xcitations at Doncaster over two miles on his previous run, this was a nice step forward from that, up in trip. His record over further than two miles and a furlong reads 21191, the nine at Ascot on his debut this season. He is still relatively lightly-raced over fences for his age and, winner of the Tolworth Hurdle in 2019, he remains unexposed at this intermediate trip. The handicapper raised him by 7lb for this win, but that still only takes him up to a mark of 145, 8lb lower than his peak over hurdles. He will be of interest again now over two and a half miles, with cheekpieces retained, ideally at a flat track. Although he has won at Cheltenham, his best runs have been at flatter tracks, Kempton and Sandown and Doncaster and now Wincanton.
Wincanton, 7th January 2023