Bergerac Back To Form
2023 has been a frustrating year for Bergerac. After a break through season last year, winning a heritage handicap at the Ebor meeting, he has struggled throughout this season to recapture that form. Ground conditions and a little slump in form has led to limited runs but the all-weather has provided a spark. Bouncing back to form, Bergerac won the 5f Stay In Control At BetUK Handicap at Newcastle.
The 5yo reached a career high of 98 but his season has seen that mark slowly drop down to 85. Signs of a revival came in the Ayr silver cup where he showed a lot of enthusiasm, running well from an unfavourable draw and ground. Knowing that the weather was not going to improve after that, the all-weather was chosen for the gelding to build on that performance. Bergerac certainly did that when he was collared on the line at Newcastle, unluckily missing out on the win but again showing a much better attitude throughout.
Only a week went by before he returned to Newcastle, dropping in grade in an attempt to get off the mark for 2023. Tom Eaves took the ride and kept things as simple as possible. Breaking well Bergerac was quickly away and took the advantage early. Tracking over, the field raced towards the stands side with Bergerac leading them along closest to the rail.
Very few would get into the contest and it was paying to be on the front. Bergerac travelled smoothly throughout as he poured on the pressure from the front. There was some strong challenges coming from those around him as the contest heated up around the 2f marker. Bergerac still travelled best of all and despite his rivals riding the gap, Tom was yet to really go for broke.
Clearly the race was going to be between the front 3, as the trio were not only looking the strongest but had began to get a little break from the rest. Entering the final furlong Tom pressed the button and quickened up with ease. Now beginning to shift through to top gear, Bergerac moved away from his pursuers and made his race winning move. The final half furlong saw the 5yo draw away with ease and Bergerac scored by a comfortable 1 1/2 lengths.
It was great to see Bergerac bounce back to form and he didn’t just win but won with a bit in hand. Obviously he had come down quite a bit in the handicap from last year, but this performance shows that he could easily reach similar heights again. Having not ran that many times this season, he could be a regular throughout the all-weather campaign and in this form there should be a big one in him along the way.