JONBON the full brother of Douvan was picked up by JP McManus yesterday for an incredible £570K following a 15L victory at Dromahane for Ellemarie Holden last Sunday. Crazy money ? Nine time G1 winner, Douvan won 10 from 13 over fences and might well have achieved plenty more but for injury problems suffered.
So where next for Jonbon ? Nicky Henderson, Paul Nicholls and Olly Murphy have all been mentioned but surely JP McManus will upkeep the family tradition and send it to Willie.
Firstly we must highlight the increasing number of JP McManus owned horses in training with Mullins in recent seasons. Saint Roi, Unexcepted, Elixir D’Ainay, Elimay and Janadil are all potential graded one horses for connections this season. When you add in the likes of Ciel De Neige and new recruits such as Gentleman De Mee, it’s obvious, how this relationship can develop over the coming seasons.
The withdrawal of Gigginstown in 2016, followed by Jared O’Sullivan in 2020, Closutton now looks the perfect Irish base for JP McManus to place new stock!
Willie himself commented on Racing TV playing down his chances stating “Bought in England with VAT and everything, he would be very expensive to bring back here.”
Let’s hope Jonbon can give Closutton an early Christmas surprise.
Horse of The Week
Contenders this week include The Jam Man, Ga Law, Dusart and Mister Coffey but we’ll go back an extra day to Newbury (5th Nov) for Petrossian. The 4yo son of Sageburg travelled powerfully and took almost three furlongs to drop the bridle. In a race won by some useful sorts in recent years, Petrossian ended up making a mockery of the field and pulled away like a very good horse to win by 8 lengths.
Visually, it was the most impressive display from a bumper horse in Britain this season and Harry Cobden was buzzing post race. Sir Gerhard laid down his Champion Bumper claims at Down Royal two weeks ago and we might struggle to find something to match him in Ireland. I’d like to see Petrossian back this up next time and his pedigree suggests he may not want much soft in the ground. He looks very good also.
Into The Tracker
Soaring Glory finished second to the impressive Dusart at Newbury last Thursday and was given a handicap mark of 133, which looks more than fair. He dispatched of Bravemansgame at Chepstow on his seasonal reappearance and the Nicholls horse has since won by 11L at Exeter. Soaring Glory looks a model for something like the Betfair Exchange Handicap at Ascot in December, a track where he won his bumper beating Kid Commando late last November. Remains a prospect !
Just a thought !
Nicky Henderson already seems well stocked in the Champion Hurdle division but we all know it’s a race he’s not afraid to spray bullets. With last year’s Epatante likely to start off in the fighting fifth and Buveur D’Air also set to return, could Mister Coffey also join the party this season?
They’ve always held him in serious regard at Seven Barrows and he cost £340,000 just 18 months ago. Nicky is on the record stating the plan to go chasing but could this be on hold after his precession off 128 at Sandown last Sunday?
Epatante won the Intermediate Handicap at Newbury in late November last season off a mark of 137 and this would look the obvious next target for the lightly raced son of Authorised. Were Mister Coffey to go and win something like this off a similar mark, he’d surely have plenty of people talking, would he not?
He’s 66/1 for the Champion Hurdle currently, if anyone fancied a nibble.
3.00 Sunday 15th November
Sebastepol won the Scottish County Hurdle at Mussleburgh when last seen off a mark of 136. The son of Fame and Glory side stepped Ascot two weeks ago to come here instead. Being a point to point winner, the strong pace and stiff finish at Cheltenham should play to his strengths and he’s still very lightly raced over hurdles.
Admiral gave the yard a nice boost when winning at Sandown on Sunday and Sebastepol could go close off 141 in the Greatwood Hurdle this Sunday coming. Currently 12/1.
- 2.15 Cheltenham – Siruh De Lac (9/1) 1pt each-way
- 1.40 Cheltenham – Eldorado Allen (4/1) 1pt win
- 12.50 Punchestown – Dunvegan (8/1) 1pt each-way
The Big Clash !
The 2m hurdle division looks crying out for another star to emerge, especially this side of the water. After last year’s Supreme, Abacadabras looked certain to develop into Ireland’s leading 2021 Champion Hurdle contender and then we saw Saint Roi when winning the County Hurdle easily off 137.
Both have a had a run, but Saint Roi looks the horse to beat considering County Hurdle second Aramon landed the Galway Hurdle. Abacadabras appeared flat at Down Royal and that’s a worry.
The Long Range Effort
Sometimes we can look too far beyond the obvious. I’ve already highlighted some exciting prospects to go novice hurdling in my 20 Jumpers To Follow but this week I’ve added another. One that may be just starring us all in the face.
Appreciate It blew me away when winning at the Dublin Racing Festival in February. Off the back of this, the son of Jeremy was chalked up the 11/4 favourite for the Champion Bumper at which point I missed the value. On the day, he probably got racing too soon and may have been unlucky to finish second to Ferny Hollow, who was given arguably the ride of the entire week by Paul Townend.
Ferny Hollow and Appreciate It are both expected to lead the Mullins charge in the novice hurdle division this season. I think the first home in last season’s Champion Bumper are quiet smart.
I’ve no doubt Willie will unleash a few usual French recruits throughout the winter but it’s difficult to see the bumper graduates found wanting this year and it’s Appreciate It that interests me most going forward. David Mullins flagged him up as his one horse to follow for the season and mentioned Cheltenham Gold Cup further down the line.
Given his size, tactical speed and undoubted stamina combined, If he takes to hurdles, 14/1 could look pretty the morning of the Ballymore. He’s almost certain to progress physically !
Appreciate It (14/1) Ballymore Novices Hurdle 2021 (1pt win)
By Barry Doyle 13/11/2020