Full steam ahead for Gordon Elliott as Beckford on track in Railway at Curragh
Gordon Elliott scored a notable Flat victory as Beckford claimed the GAIN Railway Stakes at the Curragh.
Elliott is famed for his jumping exploits, but the trainer has a smart team on the level this term, with Beckford leading the way after proving far too good in this Group Two heat.
British raider De Bruyne Horse disputed the early lead with Verbal Dexterity in the six-furlong heat, while Declan McDonogh was sat off the pace on the 11-2 victor.
Coming into the final couple of furlongs, De Bruyne Horse began to toil as 6-4 favourite Murillo looked perfectly placed for Ryan Moore and Aidan O'Brien.
However, Beckford only really began to find his full stride inside the distance and when McDonogh asked him to change gear again, the Bated Breath colt responded in style.
He pushed on again leaving Verbal Dexterity a length behind in second, with Murillo a further length and a quarter back in third.
"He's a nice horse. I'm delighted it's all worked out, for the syndicate that bought him in the first place and for Newtown Anner who were good enough to buy him and leave him with me," said Elliott.
"We thought he'd improved a good bit from the last day. I haven't got enough of them to know, but we liked what we were seeing. We thought he was working well, but we haven't got anything to work him with. He's good, a fair horse.
"He was probably in front plenty soon enough, but he's tough and he stays.
"I'm delighted for everyone that he's won, especially the new owners. It's the first horse I've had for them and Maurice Regan's father and mother are here today - it's the first time I've met them.
"When you win you are always good but, in fairness, Declan is a big part of all these two-year-olds, where we work and what we do, so I'm delighted for him.
"The Phoenix Stakes is where he'll go now, all being well.
"In the summer it's something nice to do. It's a bit of fun and something different but I'm a National Hunt man and you have to remember where your bread and butter is.
"We'll do it again next year, but it's not something I'm going to be doing full time. We'll definitely do it a bit more next year but National Hunt is my number one and nothing else matters, only National Hunt racing to me.
"If I had half a dozen nice ones for the Flat, that's all I want, but jumping is the game and that's all I want to do."