Summer Cup Winner Brave Eagle One to Follow
Brave Eagle is a horse that we haven’t seen run over the winter for the past couple of seasons. Instead, trainer Nicky Henderson has given him a summer campaign and he has done very well. Not necessarily a horse that needs to run in the summer, many of his best results have come on good ground so there is nothing stopping him running in the winter.
Following a win in the Summer Cup at Uttoxeter, it is highly likely that Brave Eagle will run this coming winter. And assuming he does he looks one to follow.
Last summer we saw this horse win two handicap hurdles and two chase races. He steadily improved into a nice chaser and ran well in October at Chepstow. As a result, it was expected he would continue to run over the winter. However, connections decided to hold him back and we didn’t see him again until May 2019.
That was at Haydock where he won convincingly, before the more recent win in the Summer Cup at Uttoxeter at the end of June. He won that race off top weight and a handicap mark of 152, which was a hugely impressive performance. A rise in the handicap will move him up to the mid to late 150s and that is borderline graded company.
He has proven his worth in some very competitive handicap races. Hopefully, we will now get to see him up against a better quality of horse to see how good he really is. If he runs off a mark in the mid-150s in the right race there is no doubt he can be a solid graded winner. A win at either Grade Two or Grade Three level looks likely.
There is even a chance that this horse could improve to the level needed for Grade One races. Although we would have to see more from the seven-year-old gelding for that to happen.
His two wins this season have come over 2m4f and 3m2f, showing that the horse is versatile regarding the trip. He looked to be going away from them at the finish over 2m4f and tiring towards the end over 3m2f so my guess is that this horse will be a three miler.
There is no reason to think he couldn’t go for one of the early season three-mile races. That is assuming that Nicky Henderson doesn’t have anything else lined up for him. A race like the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby or the Many Clouds Chase at Aintree could be right for Brave Eagle. And based on the handicap mark he has just won off, he certainly wouldn’t look out of place in the field.