Cats For Lingfield!

Morning all,

In this weeks article,  I’m going to be looking at a young jumps jockey that is fantastic value for his 5lb claim and looks destined for the top. I will also be sharing with you an ante post selection for next Saturday’s Lincoln Handicap. All this plus my Monday tip can be found inside…

Jonjo’s A Chip Off The Old Block

Two conditional jockeys have caught my eye this jumps season. One is Rex Dingle. The other is the subject of my attention and its Jonjo O’Neill Jnr.

The son of trainer and former top jockey Jonjo O’Neill is really starting to take the eye. On Saturday he rode a big race double in front of the ITV cameras at Newbury.

The first of his wins came on Chic Name in the 3m 2f handicap chase that kicked off the card. The 7-year-old came to hand in the spring last season and it looks he’s doing the same this time around.

Always up in a prominent position. Jonjo gave the horse a great ride getting the horse into a great jumping rhythm from the off.  Once taking it up at the 9th he applied the pressure and soon had plenty of rivals in trouble. Given the standard of his jumping he never really looked like he would be caught.

Joe Farrell Heads To Aintree

The only horse to give Chic Name a race was last years winner and subsequent Scottish Grand National winner Joe Farrell. The 10-year-old needed the run on his seasonal reappearance earlier in the month, but this was much better. He eventually finished well clear of the third but was unfortunate to come up against a well-handicapped horse who benefitted from having useful 5lb claimer in the saddle. This will have put him on course for a tilt at the Aintree National which is less than two weeks away.

O'Neill's' Combine For Big Race Win

The second of young Jonjo’s wins came on his fathers trained mare Annie Mac in Newbury’s feature race the EBF Mares Novices’ Hurdle. The 5-year-old was given a patient ride by his jockey, making steady headway to take up the running between the final two hurdles and when asked for her effort she quickly stormed clear of her rivals.

Her final margin of victory was only eight lengths but it’s fair to say she won with much more in hand than that. As her jockey was easing the mare up in the final 100yds and it’s not often you see a competitive handicap hurdle won so comfortably.

Drama On Bend

The race certainly wasn’t short on drama. On the bend, The White Mouse clipped the heels of a horse in front of her and came down At the same time she hampered Etamine Du Cochet who unseated her rider.

Further drama was to occur coming to two out when race favourite She Mite Bite lost her action and was quickly pulled up and after the race she was found to have suffered a pelvic injury. Although she seemed to be mounting a challenge when suffering her injury and would have finished in the places, I am not sure she would have beaten the authoritative winner.

Jonjo O’Neil had enjoyed big race success last week when he partnered the JP McManus owned Early Doors to a stylish success in the Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. He seems to be getting plenty of outside rides and will continue to be great value for his 5lb claim for the last few weeks of this jumps season.

Fehily Bows Out With A Winner

As one jockey is just starting out on their career another ended his with a win at Newbury. Noel Fehily who had announced his retirement at the Cheltenham Festival, had earlier in the week said he would be having his final rides at Newbury.

It was nice that it was Harry Fry who was able to send Fehily off into retirement with a winner on Get In The Queue, who made it three from three with a fairly easy win the valuable NHF race. The 5-year-old looks like he will make an exciting novice hurdler over 2m 4f+ next season.

Fehily was a late comer to big race success but soon made up for it. He was in my eyes a very underrated jockey who gave the likes of Silviniaco Conti, Rock On Ruby and Special Tiara great rides to earn deserved Grade 1 success.

Injuries and a recent health scare have no doubt played a major part in his retirement. At least he’s goes out at a time of his choosing and on a winner too.

Unibet Lincoln (Heritage Handicap) (Class 2) – 1m

It’s the start of the 2019 Flat turf season on Saturday and with it comes the first big handicap of the new season and the Lincoln handicap over Doncaster’s straight mile. At the time of writing the going is soft but it should be much quicker come Saturday if the weather is as dry as expected.

The Contenders

The ante post favourite is the Godolphin owned Auxerre at 9/2. The drying ground will be in his favour and it could be that the 4-year-old proves to be better than a handicapper this season. He has an obvious chance of giving his trainer Charlie Appleby a second win in the race.  

If the ground remained on the soft side I would give the Martyn Meade trained Chilean a solid each way chance. The 4-year-old won a Longchamp Group 3 on his seasonal return last season, beating the subsequent French Derby winner in the process, albeit on heavy. Below that level of form on four subsequent starts last year but would have a great chance here although good ground would be a bit of an unknown

Humbert, trained by David O’Meara is another to catch my eye. The 5-year-old’s four career wins have come on the all-weather for previous trainer Hugo Palmer. He’s 0 from 6 on the grass but has finished runner-up three times. Has since moved to his present trainer, same owner. One of those runner-up efforts came at this meeting in the Spring Mile over C&D, off 8lb lower, before filling the runner-up spot in the Newbury Spring Cup off 4lb lower. First run since October but he’s won off a longer layoff so fitness shouldn’t be an issue. Two of his best turf runs have come on good to soft, he’s effective over a mile and he handles a big field.  At around 12/1 he looks a decent each way bet for a trainer who won this race in 2017 and the runner-up last year.

Monday Selection:

Last Monday’s selection Young Paddymc, ran well had to settle for second. This week’s tip runs at Lingfield.

3:30 – Jacob Cats – The 10-year-old hasn’t won since April 2017 but he’s run some decent races since and has dropped back to a tempting handicap mark. Granted he’s yet to win beyond 1m 5f and this his first start since November, but he won first time up in 2017 and Osin Murphy has been booked for the ride. The 14/1 generally available makes him a sporting each-way bet.

Jacob Cats – 14/1 – each way

Until next week.

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