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by Handicappers / Globeform
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Beating just two horses in the prep race is seldom what is desired when a big race contender is getting ready for his task ahead. But when Gordon Lord Byron did just that, at Dundalk rececourse in Ireland on March 8, it was a case of 'job well done'. No horse can beat more than what is in opposition, and on this day just two ran against Gordon Lord Byron, who was favourite and sure won like an odds-on shot should. He is ready for the Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1).

A gate scratch meant that the field for the www.dundalkstadium.com race over 6 furlongs (1200 metres) on the all-weather course was reduced to just three. Gordon Lord Byron disposed of his rivals with ease, as he made his move in the home stretch and smoothly passed them to score by just over three lengths. His runner-up was rated 89 and that is a far cry from Group One form. Incidentally, at the beginning of last year Gordon Lord Byron was rated on 88 by the Irish handicapper. Today he stands tall at 118, a remarkable improvement in such short space of time.

This five-year-old gelding, obviously a son of the stallion Byron, was soon noted as a fast improving handicapper through the best part of last year. Then, when we went into the early autumn weeks, he left the handicapping ranks for good. His best form was shown when he shipped out of the emerald isle. After winning a Listed race at York in late August, Gordon Lord Byron went for the Betfred Sprint Cup (G1) at Haydock Park the following month, and ran a cracking good race to take second, beaten only length by Society Rock. Bated Breath and Dandy Boy finished third and fourth and it was clear that Gordon Lord Byron belonged in the top flight. He next went for the Prix de la Foret (G1) on 'Arc' day at Longchamp. It was a bit of a challenge on testing ground. William Buick, who had ridden him at York (Richard Hughes was on board at Haydock) was back in the saddle and the pair ran out winners, passing the winning post 1 length in front of the confirmed mudlark Penitent, while three-year-old Kendam checked in third. This win was worth 171,420. As a foal, Gordon Lord Byron was sold for just 2,000. He has come a long way since then, and he is not done with yet.

Trainer Tom Hogan gave him a two-month break after his success in Paris, which was his seventh from 24 runs, and then put him on a plane to Hong Kong. Gordon Lord Byron was having a crack at yet another big pot, in the Hong Kong Mile (G1) at Sha Tin. Ann 11-1 chance in a field on 12 runners, he ran well again, but had to see three locally trained horses hit the line before he did; the strong favourite Ambitious Dragon, Glorious Days and Packing OK. Gordon Lord Byron, again with Buick up, was promnent early but tired at bit through the last 200 metres. That he can run so well over a mile, yet seems best over six and seven furlongs, is a great asset. It gives him options in the new season, which kicks off for real when he runs in the Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) on World Cup night.

Gordon Lord Byron's dam, the Intikhab daughter Boa Estrela, never raced but she was well bred, being a half-sister to the good filly Cheyenne Star, who won eight races including the 7-furlong Browntown Stakes (G3). She produced her best form at four and five.

Published: 2013-03-09 05:04:40

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