Gordon Elliott expects progressive Beckford to kick on in National Stakes

Fri 8 Sep 2017

Gordon Elliott feels the step up in trip will suit Beckford when his smart two-year-old goes for Group One glory in the Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday.

The son of Bated Breath may have lost his 100 per cent record when beaten half a length by Sioux Nation in the Phoenix Stakes last month but he was putting in his best work at the end of the six-furlong Group One.

Beckford already has a Group Two success on his CV when he won the Railway Stakes at this track on his second start.

An extra furlong could bring out further improvement and give Elliott, who is used to winning major prizes over jumps, a big race on the Flat.

"He's in good form and we're looking forward to running him," said the County Meath handler.

"It's a competitive race but he's in good order. We think the step up in trip will suit him."

Sioux Nation's trainer Aidan O'Brien is responsible for half of the eight runners, headed by Gustav Klimt, who got up in the dying strides to win the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket.

The Ballydoyle handler's three other contenders - Rostropovich, Coat Of Arms and Berkeley Square - filled the first three places in the Group Two Futurity Stakes over the course and distance three weeks ago.

Colm O'Donoghue is looking forward to continuing his association with Brother Bear and believes better is to come from the Kodiac colt after trainer Jessica Harrington and her team worked on getting the horse to run straighter.

"He progressed early in the season and ran a great race in the Coventry but for some reason at both Ascot and last time at the Curragh he hung left," said the jockey.

"Mrs Harrington has been working on a few things with him and we're confident he won't do it again."

Jim Bolger's Verbal Dexterity takes on Beckford again after running him to a length in the Railway, while the Ger Lyons-trained Lethal Steps make up the eight-runner field.

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