Eclair Surf is clear at the last at Warwick
Eclair Surf is clear at the last at Warwick

Warwick Saturday review: Classic Chase joy for Eclair Surf

Eclair Surf ran his rivals ragged to strike a 12/1 blow for Value Bet followers in the Agetur UK Ltd Classic Handicap Chase.

Sent of at 11/1, Matt Brocklebank's selection made every yard of the running in the Warwick marathon and turning for home it was clear Tom Bellamy's mount had the the prize in safe-keeping.

"I'm absolutely chuffed to get this big winner. This horse has always threatened to do it. The Welsh National was the plan but he was going to be out of the weights," the winning rider said.

"We swerved that and he was meant to go to Cheltenham on New Year's Day but he was lame on the morning so everythng happens for a reason. I'm really enjoying riding for Emma Lavelle, she's very straightforward. It helps riding nice horses and long may it continue."

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Lavelle said: “He was meant to go to Cheltenham on New Year’s Day and I was absolutely gutted when he came in from the field lame and couldn’t go. Luckily we didn’t have to wait too long for this race. We know he can gallop, but jumping has always been an issue. In truth he’s a good jumper but is always capable of belting one. It keeps Tom on his toes, that’s for sure.

“With that in mind I don’t think he’s a National horse, certainly not this year, but he might be one for the Scottish National. He needs a bit of cut and that race is earlier this year.

“We won this with Shotgun Paddy and that was our first really big handicap win and Barry (Fenton, partner) got quite emotional. He’s done a lot of work with this lad, too, so it will mean a lot.

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“He’s a tricky horse so it’s a big ‘thank you’ to Barry really. His ability has never been in doubt, he just has his thing of throwing in a shocker. I knew Tom wanted to be handy today and that was a good idea.”

It is the first feature race Lavelle and Bellamy have won since teaming up, and the trainer was full of praise for her jockey.

“Tom is a massive team player which is great for us and when he’s riding, yes he’s thinking about the day, but he’s also thinking about the next day and the next day,” said Lavelle. It’s working really well and going the right way.”

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