Leading trainer David Hayes made a desperate and unusual plea for the Jockey Club handicapper to go to town on boom horse Beethoven after the gelding was less than convincing in winning the Lantau Peak Handicap (1,600 metres) yesterday. The royally-bred four-year-old scrambled home by a neck for Douglas Whyte at odds-on after 'snaking' his way down the Sha Tin straight before Hayes called on Ciaran Kennelly's panel to hoist Beethoven in the ratings by at least nine points. 'It isn't something you hear from any Hong Kong trainer very often, I know, but this horse is full of real potential and I hope he goes up nine,' Hayes said. Under normal circumstances, a win like yesterday's would probably only earn a five- or six-point rise in the ratings but Hayes has long-planned to run Beethoven on International Day over 2,000m and the gelding needs to have a rating of 90 to qualify for the Class One event. 'I thought he would do it a bit more comfortably today and ensure that he would get the nine necessary,' Hayes said. 'By wanting to run in so badly again, he hasn't hampered anyone but himself and made it a less convincing win than it should have been. 'He really isn't doing himself justice hanging like that - or maybe he isn't as good as I think he is, I suppose.' But Hayes has had plenty of experience with top-class horses and maintains his powerful faith in the magnificent gelding. 'Beethoven is a Zabeel and they are stayers, and I think once he gets up to 2,000m you'll start to see the horse I know he is,' Hayes said. 'Beethoven is a classical mover and he'll travel like that over 2,000m and then sprint just as quickly as in shorter races. 'Up to now, we haven't had him beyond 1,600m and he is overdue to go to a longer trip but the race on International Day was the one I had mapped out for him. Now I just have to hope the handicapper looks at his potential and not the margin,' said Hayes. Whyte, who won on Elegant Fashion for Hayes last week and has had two rides for two wins for the yard this season, said he couldn't put his finger on the reason for Beethoven's erratic antics in the straight. 'He is a lovely horse and gives you a great feeling when you ride him. Beethoven is just a natural racehorse the way he moves,' Whyte said. 'But David's going to have to put his thinking cap on about this running into the rail because it will cost the horse races. 'I wouldn't say it's immaturity because he is such a mature horse physically, and he isn't sore, feeling anything. Perhaps it's just clumsiness. And I couldn't say that he does it because of any weakness of character - he doesn't give any indication that he doesn't want to be a racehorse. In fact, I get the feeling he does want to do it.'