Cheltenham 2024 | Trials Day poses extra questions for Jonbon

Cheltenham, Jonbon

Because the mud settles on Trials Day at Cheltenham, Jonbon was given one other sizeable actuality test.

With the countdown to Cheltenham 2024 now formally on, it’s simply six weeks’ to what might be one of many greatest betting occasions of 2024.

After a primary go to of the yr to the hallowed Gloucestershire turf, Saturday has as soon as once more proved telling, so what can we take away from the weekend?

Jonbon takes successful

There’s something about Jonbon that claims in the case of the large dance, he simply can’t get it executed.

Taken down within the rearranged Clarence Home Chase as overwhelming 1/4f, Elixir Du Nutz shocked the bookies at 22/1.

Crushed for the primary time in 5, the hopes of Nicky Henderson’s greatest 2-miler in Britain took one other hit.

Removed from writing his possibilities off for March, it was nonetheless, the gelding’s third defeat in 4 in Gloucestershire.

Although Jonbon has received on each different observe he has raced on, his win on this season’s Shloer Chase towards an out-of-sorts Edwardstone, stays his lone win at Cheltenham.

That may be a worrying statistic and Jonbon now has work to do forward of a competition reunion with foe El Fabiolo within the Queen Mom Champion Chase.

Following on from a formidable Tingle Creek win earlier this season, there was no signal of the identical confidence.

Jonbon has by no means been immaculate over hurdles however his displaying this weekend was most alarming, virtually falling on two separate events.

His points with the Cheltenham hurdles stay a thorny concern.

Even in a two-horse shootout towards 9/1 Calico at Warwick earlier than Cheltenham final yr, the gelding’s efforts had been awkward.

When Jonbon and El Fabiolo lock horns for the third time, the latter might be across the 1/2f mark.

To open his winner’s account on the competition, Jonbon should be good. Solely time will inform if he can show the doubters unsuitable.


Lossiemouth appears to be like nailed-on

As one Cheltenham favorite’s hopes took a blow, Lossiemouth firmly moved into the field seat for back-to-back competition victories.

Romping to an virtually 10L win over Love Envoi in Saturday’s UniBet Hurdle, Willie Mullins’ 8yo stays with only one profession loss in six races.

With the prospect for Irish Racing Pageant redemption at Leopardstown, her higher possibilities will certainly are available March.

Merely sensational

Lossiemouth makes a aggressive subject look extraordinary as she wins the Unibet Hurdle with an aesthetic efficiency #ITVRacing | @CheltenhamRaces

— ITV Racing (@itvracing) January 27, 2024

Going up towards defending champ State Man and reigning Ballymore Novices’ king Impaire Et Passe this weekend, the Mullins’ trio reignite their burgeoning rivalry.

Nonetheless, so far as Cheltenham goes, there are two present choices.

One being the Champion Hurdle, however the maybe extra seemingly avenue – as to keep away from the mighty Structure Hill – the Mares’ Hurdle.

The mare’s stiffest competitors in that appears to be Ashroe Diamond, who herself received comfortably at Doncaster.

However, Lossiemouth might be a heavy and potential 8/13f.

After a scare within the Triumph Hurdle final yr, Lossiemouth might be a giant Pageant NAP.


Noble Yeats’ Stayers’ problem?

One other huge take from Gloucestershire this weekend, may Noble Yeats be able to throw down within the Stayers’ Hurdle.

Racing followers already know the stamina of Emmet Mullins’ horse, however the 2022 Grand Nationwide victor has the instruments for 3m.

Clinging onto Cleeve Hurdle victory after a late surge, perennial-bridesmaid-of-late Paisley Park was nosed out as soon as extra.

Some label his wonderful win 21 months in the past a fluke, however on this proof, the 60/1 Aintree winner will fancy his possibilities the subsequent time he trots into Cheltenham.

After a vastly creditable fourth in final yr’s Gold Cup, Noble Yeats now has actual possibilities after choosing up a primary win on the brand new course.

The would possibly of Gordon Elliott’s Teahapoo and Irish Level would be the ones to beat later this yr, however the 9yo and Harry Cobden will once more be an honest punt at a big-price.

With the Glenfarclas Chase and two-time defending Delta Work his different choice, Noble Yeats ought to be one to think about for the betslip.


The 2024 Cheltenham Pageant begins on Tuesday 12 March

Author: Patrick Thomas