Elle Est Belle recouped losses for an odds-on defeat on her jumping debut to take the Listed honours in the Ladbrokes Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at Newbury.
Dan Skelton’s five-year-old was only third over this extended two miles that day behind Nina The Terrier and Ahorsewithnoname and turned the tables on the pair.
Nina The Terrier fell at the final flight when holding every chance and Ahorsewithnoname was still just in front after taking it up after the third last, but Elle Est Belle (2-1) looked to be going best.
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With Nina The Terrier out, Elle Est Belle powered past the leader to score by eight and a half lengths in the hands of Harry Skelton.
Skelton said: “She needed the run the first day and she really shocked me, because last year she was a really buzzy horse.
“Last year, you were almost like ‘slow down, there’s no rush’, and then actually she has come back in and she has appreciated that we have dropped her in in her races and she was a bit too relaxed in her early training.
“She needed the run and there is no shame in that. She has improved and she was going away at the line. I was quite optimistic she would turn it around and that we would improve an awful lot.
“She will get two and a half miles, but there is no need to press, press, press. There is no immediate plan.
“I think we will train her towards the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle, but that will be a bit ground dependent, but I wouldn’t want her to be going there on quicker ground.”