By Ray Hickson
There's a bit of Jekyll and Hyde about Beat Le Bon according to the man who’ll ride him in the $7.5 million Iron Jack Golden Eagle (1500m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Pat Dobbs arrived in Sydney on Thursday night from Dubai and has given some interesting insight into one of the international raiders in Australia’s third richest race.
The 42-year-old has spent 23 years of his life working for trainer Richard Hannon, and his father Richard Hannon Snr before him, and has been able to get the best out of Beat Le Bon with a record of three wins from four rides.
"He's either very switched on or very switched off, there's no in between,'' Dobbs said.
"If he gets going on his day he can be difficult to control but I don't think we have seen the best of him.
"He's a big strong horse and the day he won at Goodwood he gave me an awesome feel. He won well that day.''
That win was the Golden Mile on August 2 and Dobbs said if Beat Le Bon strikes similar conditions – a good track and a solid pace – it would be conducive to the four-year-old switching on.
Dobbs, who hasn’t ridden in Sydney before, will certainly get the racing surface the horse needs and he may get his wish for a genuine tempo.
“The barrier is not great, we just hope to get a good fast pace,’’ he said.
“He has a good turn of foot and we hope to get a nice trip around, there's a lot of runners so we will need a bit of luck.
“On his day he's very good, the day he won at Goodwood they went very quick and that's the key to him. He needs to relax early and he can show his true turn of foot.’’
Beat Le Bon is not given a lot of hope in the betting as a $71 chance with TAB.
He’s had 10 starts and was ridden earlier in his career by Tom Marquand, who is well known to Sydneysiders from his stint last summer, but according to Dobbs has only started to hit his straps in recent months.
A double on the day for the @rhannonracing team at @Goodwood_Races as Pat Dobbs, clinging bravely to the rail, gets the gaps to come home first on Beat Le Bon#GloriousGoodwood #QGF pic.twitter.com/VkUnh2pooj
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) August 2, 2019
“Richard has always been keen on him, he loved him as a two-year-old even though he didn't show on the track what he showed at home,’’ he said.
As for Beat Le Bon’s last start before travelling to Sydney, Dobbs said put a line through it.
He ran fifth of six in a Group 2 Celebration Mile (1609m) at Goodwood on August 24 but didn’t get the crucial speed he requires.
“It was very messy, it was a small field and he didn't jump very well,’’ he said.
“After he'd run 100 yards he was too keen, they went very steady. It was a silly race.’’
The three Golden Eagle internationals - Beat Le Bon, I Am Superman and Never No More - all completed a light gallop on the Canterbury polytrack on Friday with all their main work complete.