Jonjo O’Neill Stable Visit

Jonjo O’Neill Stable Visit

Jackdaws Castle, Temple Guiting, Gloucestershire

 

27 February 2014 – The trainer welcomed the media to his sumptuous yard early on the morning of Thursday, February 27.

 

His main hope for The Festival is novice chaser Taquin Du Seuil who is heading for the Grade One JLT Novices’ Chase (1.30pm) over two and a half miles on the third day, St Patrick’s Thursday, March 13.

 

Jonjo O’Neill said: “He will get a proper gallop in the JLT. Obviously, there is not much between Oscar Whisky and Taquin Du Seuil. Oscar would have more pace but Taquin is a good horse and, as long as the ground does not dry out too much, he will run well. He is best on soft ground, though I will run him on good ground.

 

“I know he likes a good pace in his races and I could not have him in better shape – he is in really good form.

 

“I am very happy with my fellow and, last time, there was not much between him and Oscar (three quarters of a length) at Cheltenham and they were some 15 lengths ahead of the third.

 

“He jumps well, he travels well and he does everything well. His run at The Festival last year was not his form but he has run well at Cheltenham over fences since so I don’t think it was the course.”

 

Jonjo O’Neill has only missed out on a winner at The Festival once since 2000 (in 2005) and he does not mind which race he captures.

 

“So long as I have a winner, I don’t give monkeys which horse in which race it is. If Goodwood Mirage acts on the track, he will run a cracker. I am worried about him coming down the hill because he has a floating chip in his joint – some days it is grand, other days it is not. That and he wants gelding. He goes for the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (4.40pm, Ladies Day, Wednesday, March 12) and ran well at Kempton on Saturday. He runs very free early on – he is not the easiest but he stays well. I would have preferred going for the JCB Triumph Hurdle but he is not good enough for that.

 

“I don’t have a real headline horse but, touch wood, the horses are in grand form and you hope that they will perform on the day. I am very happy with Taquin De Seuil – he does excite me. He might not have shown it as much on the track as he does at home but, if he gets the opportunity, a good gallop and jumps well, he will make them go.”

 

The trainer has 31 entries going forward for The Festival but does not expect to have that many runners, with plenty of horses not getting into the handicaps.

 

He is the leading trainer numerically so far this season, with 117 winners and over £1 million in prize money.

 

He added: “We will do well to have more than a dozen runners. We have been fine on the gallops here, despite the wet weather, but we have not had as many runners. Hopefully, they will be ready on the day.”

 

Synopsis – Jonjo O’Neill has established himself as a leading trainer, sending out 22 winners at The Festival and two at Royal Ascot. He retired from the saddle at the end of the 1985/86 season and, having survived lymphatic cancer not long after that, started training near Penrith, Cumbria, in 1987. He moved to his present base at Jackdaws Castle in Gloucestershire, near Cheltenham, when the yard was bought by owner J P McManus in 2001, and concentrates on jump horses.

 

 

Born – April 13, 1952

 

Background – He was champion Jump jockey twice (1977/78 and 1979/80) and set a then record for winners in a season (149) in his first championship year. The most sensational moment of his riding career came when he took the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Dawn Run in 1986 as the mare became the only horse to win that trophy after having previously captured the Champion Hurdle (1984), again with O’Neill in the saddle. He also won the Gold Cup on Alverton (1979) and the Champion Hurdle on Sea Pigeon (1980). He partnered nine Cheltenham Festival winners in all.

 

First winner as a trainer - Shelbourne, Ayr, January 30, 1987

 

Cheltenham Festival wins as a trainer (22)

1991: 1 – Pertemps Network Final (Danny Connors)

1995: 2 – Terry Biddlecombe National Hunt Chase (Front Line)

2000: 1 – Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle (Master Tern)

2002: 1 - Terry Biddlecombe National Hunt Chase (Rith Dubh)

2003: 3 – Terry Biddlecombe National Hunt Chase (Sudden Shock), Pertemps Network Final (Inching Closer), JCB Triumph Hurdle (Spectroscope)

2004: 3 – Terry Biddlecombe National Hunt Chase (Native Emperor), Pertemps Network Final (Creon), Ladbrokes World Hurdle (Iris’s Gift)

2006: 1 – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Black Jack Ketchum)

2007: 3 – (The Irish Independent Leading Trainer) Terry Biddlecombe National Hunt Chase (Butler’s Cabin), Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Wichita Lineman), CGA Foxhunter (Drombeag)

2008: 1 – RSA Chase (Albertas Run)

2009: 1 – Baylis & Harding Affordable Luxury Handicap Chase (Wichita Lineman)

2010: 1 – Ryanair Chase (Albertas Run)

2011: 1 – Ryanair Chase (Albertas Run)

2012: 2 – Baylis & Harding Affordable Luxury Handicap Chase (Alfie Sherrin), Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase (Sunnyhillboy), Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup (Synchronised)

2013: 1 – Pertemps Network Final (Holywell)

 


 

Chasers

 

Alfie Sherrin

11 b g Kayf Tara – Mandys Native (IRE) (Be My Native (USA))

Form: 11/310/413P/PF7513/374-4 Owner: J P McManus Breeder: Mrs J Egan

 

Jonjo O’Neill said: “At the moment, he won’t get in the Baylis & Harding Affordable Luxury Handicap Chase (2.40pm, Champion Day, Tuesday, March 11), which has put a bit of a blocker on it. He has got a bit of wind problem and his joints can cause problems so he is not the easiest horse to keep sound. But he is in great form at the moment and I have not run him because of the heavy ground. Hopefully, we have done the right thing and kept him fresh. He has done a lot of work. We hope to run him at The Festival.”

 

*Bumper and hurdle winner for Paul Nicholls.

*Lightly raced since winning the Baylis & Harding Affordable Luxury Handicap Chase at the 2012 Festival for current connections.

*Third behind Lion Na Bearnai in the following month’s Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse.

*Fourth to Same Difference in last season’s Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase at The Festival and filled the same spot on his seasonal return in the Betfair Fixed Brush Handicap Hurdle at Haydock Park in November.

*Entered in Baylis & Harding Affordable Luxury Handicap Chase and Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase.

Race record: Starts: 19; Wins: 5; 2nd: -; 3rd: 4; Win & Place Prize Money: £93,367

 

Johns Spirit (IRE)

7 b g Gold Well – Gilt Ridden (IRE) (Heron Island (IRE))

Form: 213122361/58126733-115 Owner: Christopher Johnson

Breeder: Arctic Tack Stud & Crossogue Stud

 

Jonjo O’Neill said: “He is in great form – he worked brilliantly the other morning. The reason he hasn’t run is he keeps getting sore shins. He was fired and blistered after his last race so we have done a proper job on him. The owner has been away until now so it has suited us not to run him. He has got stronger this season and is much happier in himself. He goes well for Richie (McLernon) and they suit each other. I would blame the shins for his last run. He was sore after the Paddy Power and we struggled to get him back for the race in December. He ran well off a higher rating and it is a hard thing to do – win both the Paddy Power and that race. You need to come out of the Paddy Power flying and he came out sore. It is a hard race, the Paddy Power. He is working fantastically at the minute and I hope it stays that way for the next two weeks. He goes for the Byrne Group Plate (4pm, St Patrick’s Thursday, March 13). He likes Cheltenham.”

 

* Won a bumper easily at Newton Abbott in August, 2011.

*Progressive over hurdles during the 2011/2012 season, winning two of his seven starts over obstacles.

*Won one of eight outings over fences last term and ran some good races in defeat including when second to Katenko at Sandown in January.

*Finished seventh in the Rewards4Racing Novices’ Handicap Chase at The Festival and then came third in competitive handicaps at Aintree and Ayr in April.

*Returned this season with an easy success in a two and a half mile handicap chase at The Showcase in October and followed that up with a three quarters of a length victory in the valuable Paddy Power Gold Cup at The Open in November.

*Failed in bid for a three-timer in Cheltenham handicaps when fifth in the Stewart Family Thank You Gold Cup at The International on December 14.

*Entered in Byrne Group Plate.

Race record: Starts: 20; Wins: 6; 2nd: 4; 3rd: 4; Win & Place Prize Money: £166,480

 


 

Hurdlers

 

More Of That (IRE)

6 b g Beneficial – Guigone (FR) (Esprit Du Nord (USA))

Form: 1-111 Owner: J P McManus Breeder: Eleanor Hadden

 

Jonjo O’Neill said: “He is in good shape and it looks like he will stay the three miles of the Ladbrokes World Hurdle (3.20pm St Patrick’s Thursday, March 13). He won at Haydock because he stayed. Do I have a doubt in my mind? Well, I think he will stay, though going to Cheltenham for The Festival is a hard thing to do, they don’t hang around and the finish is up a hill. We don’t really know. I am not totally sure he will go for the World Hurdle but he is ready and I would think Richie (McLernon) will ride him. Richie won on him first time out and knows the horse well. More Of That is a good traveller in his races but it makes me nervous that he has not raced over three miles before – it is going into the unknown. He is a fair horse but how strong is his form? I would imagine A P (McCoy) will ride At Fisher’s Cross but he will come to ride work this week and next week and make his mind up. I hope he rides ours.”

 

*Sibling of smart Jump performers Chamirey, Eastlake and Santenay.

*Belied a starting price of 20/1 to win in facile fashion on hurdling debut at Folkestone in December, 2012.

*Scored on seasonal return in a two and a half mile handicap at Wetherby on November 2, before following up in a competitive affair over the same trip at Haydock Park later the same month.

*Took a big step forward when beating Salubrious decisively by two and a quarter lengths in the Grade Two Osborne House Relkeel Hurdle over an extended two and a half miles at Cheltenham on December 14.

*Entered in Ladbrokes World Hurdle.

Race record: Starts: 4; Wins: 4; 2nd: -; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £54,775

 

Novice chasers

 

Holywell

7 b g Gold Well – Hillcrest (IRE) (Thatching)

Form: 31/2222124-32U11 Owner: Gay Smith Breeder: Patrick Doyle

 

Jonjo O’Neill said: “I am not too sure yet in which race he will run because the handicapper gave him 145 and he beat a horse at Doncaster rated 132. So I don’t know where he got the handicap mark from. We will see. He might even go back to hurdles for the World Hurdle.”

 

*£70,000 purchase at the Brightwells Cheltenham Sale in November, 2011, after winning an Irish point-to-point by 15 lengths.

*Captured a maiden hurdle at Chepstow in February, 2012.

*Finished second on four subsequent starts over hurdles, including in the valuable Fixed Brush Handicap Hurdle at Haydock Park in November, 2012, before a length and a half success in the Pertemps Network Final at The Festival last year.

*Also second to Solwhit in Grade One Liverpool Hurdle at Aintree’s Grand National meeting.

*Won on two of his five starts in novices’ chases this season, including when scoring over three miles at Doncaster on February 19.

*Entered in Baylis & Harding Affordable Luxury Handicap Chase, Terry Biddlecombe National Hunt Chase, RSA Chase, Ladbrokes World Hurdle and Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase.

Race record: Starts: 14; Wins: 4; 2nd: 6; 3rd: 2; Win & Place Prize Money: £114,094

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taquin Du Seuil (FR)

7 b/br g Voix Du Nord (FR) – Sweet Laly (FR) (Marchand De Sable (USA))

Form: 12116-11321 Owner: Martin Broughton & Friends 1 Breeder: Marc Boudot

 

See introduction for Jonjo O’Neill’s comments.

 

*Winner on the Flat in France for Christophe Provot.

*Developed into top-class novice hurdler last season, winning on three of his five starts including the Grade One Challow Hurdle at Newbury in December, 2012.

*Sixth behind The New One in the Grade One Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle at The Festival, beaten 17 lengths.

*Scored on first two starts over fences, including when outbattling Oscar Whisky in the Steel Plate And Sections Novices’ Chase over an extended two and a half miles at Cheltenham on November 15.

*Third to Hinterland in Grade One Henry VIII Novices’ Chase at Sandown on December 7 and second to Oscar Whisky in the Grade Two Cheltenham Pony Club Raceday Novices’ Chase on New Year’s Day, but back to winning ways with impressive 17-length success in a two and a half mile Grade Two event at Haydock Park on January 18.

*Entered in RSA Chase and JLT Novices’ Chase.

Jump race record: Starts: 10; Wins: 6; 2nd: 2; 3rd: 1; Win & Place Prize Money: £81,903

 

Novice/juvenile hurdlers

 

Goodwood Mirage (IRE)

4 b c Jeremy (USA) – Phantom Waters (Pharly (FR))

Form: -165 Owner: Lady Bamford & Alice Bamford Breeder: Mrs Chris Harrington

 

See introduction for Jonjo O’Neill’s comments.

 

*Won two of his eight starts on the Flat (rated 99) for William Knight before being knocked down for 380,000 guineas at the Tattersalls Horses-In-Training Sale in October.

*Got off the mark at the first time of asking over hurdles with a short-head victory at Kempton Park on January 11.

*Trailed home last behind Le Rocher in the Grade Two JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial at Cheltenham on January 25, but shaped better in a first time hood when fifth to Activial in the Grade Two Adonis Juvenile Hurdle at Kempton Park on February 22, beaten nine and quarter lengths.

*Entered in Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle and JCB Triumph Hurdle.

Jump race record: Starts: 3; Wins: 1; 2nd: -; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £5,038

 

 

Mountain Tunes (IRE)

5 br g Mountain High (IRE) – Art Lover (IRE) (Over The River (FR))

Form: -11 Owner: J P McManus Breeder: Neil Tector

 

Jonjo O’Neill said: “To me, he will be a lovely horse next season over fences. Whether he will run at The Festival, I don’t know.”

 

*Purchased for £75,000 at the Brightwells Cheltenham Sale in April, 2013, after winning a point-to-point at Tyrella, Ireland, in March.

*Finished strongly to give 18-time champion Jump jockey A P (Tony) McCoy his 4,000th winner in a two mile and five furlong novices’ hurdle at Towcester on November 7.

*Followed up over the same course and distance on December 19, scoring by a neck.

*Entered in Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle.

Race record: Starts: 2; Wins: 2; 2nd: -; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £6,238

 


 

Entries by race at The Festival

 

Champion Day, Tuesday, March 11

 

Baylis & Harding Affordable Luxury Handicap Chase

Shutthefrontdoor (11st)

Holywell (10st 13lb)

Burton Port (10st 9lb)

Twirling Magic (10st 10lb)

Dursey Sound (10st 5lb)

Alfie Sherrin (10st 2lb)

 

Terry Biddlecombe National Hunt Chase

Dursey Sound

Holywell

Shutthefrontdoor

Jonjo O’Neill said: “Shutthefrontdoor is a possibility, but he is also in the RSA Chase. We will have to wait and see what Frank (Berry, racing manager to owner J P McManus) says. He might not have the experience for the handicap race at the moment but he is a nice horse and in great form at the minute.”

 

Rewards4Racing Novices’ Handicap Chase

Dursey Sound (11st 7lb)

Festive Affair (11st 4lb)

Lost Legend (10st 8lb)

Foundation Man (10st 4lb)

 

Ladies Day, Wednesday, March 12

 

RSA Chase

Holywell

Shutthefrontdoor

Taquin Du Seuil

 

Coral Cup

Get Me Out of Here (11st 6lb)

Rum And Butter (11st 2lb)

Open Day (10st 7lb)

Alaivan (10st 4lb)

Another Hero (9st 13lb)

Prompter (9st 11lb)

Jonjo O’Neill said: “Alaivan is in the Coral Cup and I think he will be better over further. He was staying in the Betfair when the race was over. I would imagine that this is the race he will go for.”

 

Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle

Goodwood Mirage (10st 13lb)

Rayak (10st 2lb)

 

St Patrick’s Thursday, March 13

 

JLT Novices’ Chase

Taquin Du Seuil

 

Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle

Josies Orders (11st)

Open Day (10st 13lb)

Upswing (10st 10lb)

Milan Bound (10st 3lb)

Jonjo O’Neill said: “Josies Orders, Open Day and Upswing will hopefully all get in and they will run if they do.”

 

 

 

Ladbrokes World Hurdle

Holywell

More Of That

 

Byrne Group Plate Handicap Chase

Johns Spirit (10st 12lb)

Eastlake (10st 11lb)

Dursey Sound (10st 1lb)

Festive Affair (9st 12lb)

 

Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Chase

Holywell (11st 12lb)

Twirling Magnet (11st 9lb)

Burton Port (11st 8lb)

Lost Glory (11st 6lb)

Dursey Sound (11st 4lb)

Alfie Sherrin (11st 1lb)

Titchwood (10st 8lb)

 

Gold Cup Day, Friday, March 14

 

JCB Triumph Hurdle

Goodwood Mirage

 

Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle

Get Me Out of Here (11st 6lb)

Alaivan (10st 4lb)

Prompter (9st 11lb)

Get Back In Line (9st 11lb)

Hawaii Five Nil (9st 6lb)

Jonjo O’Neill said: “Get Me Out Of Here is in the County and the Coral and he will run probably in the County. He ran very well over two miles at Cheltenham in December. He has been beaten in both races previously and it will depend on what other horses J P (McManus) has running. He is great shape at the moment. He is another one who is so difficult to keep right – he has more problems than I have!”

 

Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle

Mountain Tunes

 

Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

Rum And Butter (11st 9lb)

Open Day (11st)

Alaivan (10st 11lb)

Another Hero (10st 6lb)

Get Back In Line (10st 4lb)

Prompter (10st 4lb)

Carlton Jack (10st 4lb)

Whisky Yankee (9st 11lb)

 

Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase

Eastlake (10st 13lb)

Festive Affair (10st)

Jonjo O’Neill said: “Eastlake will go for the Johnny Henderson. He has been running well this season – he would be better with a bit better ground as it won’t catch his wind so much. He is what he is but he likes Cheltenham which helps.”


 

The Festival 2014

 

Champion Day, Tuesday, March 11 (Old Course)

1.30 Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Grade One)  2m ½f £120,000

2.05 Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase (Grade One) 2m £150,000

2.40 Baylis and Harding Affordable Luxury Handicap Chase (Grade Three) 3m ½f  £90,000

3.20 Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy (Grade One) 2m ½f  £400,000

4.00 OLBG Mares’ Hurdle Race (Grade Two) 2m 4f £85,000

4.40 Terry Biddlecombe National Hunt Chase (Listed) 4m £85,000

5.15 Rewards4Racing Novices’ Handicap Chase (Listed) (0-140) 2m 4½f £60,000

 

Ladies Day, Wednesday, March 12 (Old Course)

1.30 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (Grade One)  2m 5f £120,000

2.05 RSA Chase (Grade One) 3m ½f £150,000

2.40 Coral Cup (Grade Three Handicap Hurdle)  2m 5f £80,000

3.20 BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade One) 2m £350,000

4.00 Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase  3m 7f £50,000

4.40 Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade Three) 2m ½f £75,000

5.15 Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Grade One) 2m ½f £60,000

 

St Patrick’s Thursday, March 13 (New Course)

1.30 JLT Novices’ Chase (Grade One) 2m 4f £120,000

2.05 Pertemps Network Final (Listed, Handicap Hurdle)  3m £80,000

2.40 Ryanair Chase (Grade One) 2m 5f £275,000

3.20 Ladbrokes World Hurdle (Grade One) 3m  £275,000

4.00 Byrne Group Plate (Grade Three Handicap Chase)  2m 4f £90,000

4.40 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap Chase (0-145) 3m 1½f £60,000

5.15 St Patrick’s Derby 1m 5f

 

Gold Cup Day, Friday, March 14 (New Course)

1.30 JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade One) 2m 1f £120,000

2.05 Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle (Grade Three) 2m 1f £80,000

2.40 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Grade One) 3m £120,000

3.20 Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup (Grade One) 3m 2½ f £550,000

4.00 CGA Foxhunter Chase Challenge Cup 3m 2½ f £40,000

4.40 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (0-145) 2m 4½ f £50,000

5.15 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase Challenge Cup (Grade Three) 2m ½ f £90,000

Did you like this? Share it:
Leave A Comment

© 2017 Racenews · One Bird Design · RSS Feed · Log in