Noel Meade predicts a bright future for Beacon Edge following his narrow defeat at Naas on Sunday.
A smart bumper performer last season – most notably finishing fourth behind Envoi Allen at last year’s Dublin Racing Festival – the Doyen gelding made an impressive start to his hurdling career at Punchestown in October.
Having been off the track since, Beacon Edge appeared to face a stiff task in the Grade Two Paddy Power Betting Shop Novice Hurdle, but was beaten just a nose by the front-running Jason The Militant, with hot favourite Andy Dufresne four lengths away in third.
Betfair reacted by cutting Meade’s charge to 33-1 from 66-1 for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at next month’s Cheltenham Festival, but the trainer will consult owners Gigginstown House Stud before committing to future targets.
“We think he’s a very good horse and we always did. He just got held up with me all winter,” said Meade.
“He probably would have won with a good jump at the last. He just reached for it and got a bit unbalanced, but it’s a good run for just his second run over hurdles.
“If you look back at his form he was beaten just over three lengths by Envoi Allen – his form is top class.
“I don’t know what the plans are and I’ll have to talk to Michael and Eddie (O’Leary) before seeing where he’ll go.”