We have long held Debece in very high regard, so it was tremendously exciting to see him take a big step forward at Newbury yesterday, putting his rivals to the sword with a hugely impressive win in the 2m4f handicap hurdle.
Settled in behind the front-runners through the first half of the race, he was sent into the lead down the back straight by Alan Johns and, hurdling fast and fluently, he quickly opened up an advantage.
Quickening off the home bend, Debece went clear and Alan never had to get to work on him at any stage. A mistake at the second-last, his sole error in the race, didn’t stop his momentum and, 20 lengths clear at the last, he was able to coast home through the final furlong.
Having initially hoped to see him win so that we could get into the 2m4f handicap at Aintree next month, he is likely to have a substantial rise in the weights that brings the Grade 1 Sefton into the equation, as I have little doubt that he will improve for the step up to three miles in time. Congratulations to his owner Robert Kirkland!