Jonbon (Walk In The Park) Wins The Grade 1 Celebration Chase at Sandown

Further Grade 1 Success For Jonbon

Jonbon (7g Walk In The Park - Star Face, by Saint Des Saints) rounded up a terrific season with his fourth Grade 1 success in the Celebration Chase at Sandown.

A wide margin winner of the Grade 1 Maghull Novices’ Chase just two weeks prior, Nicky Henderson’s charge was a surprise declaration for his first start in open company. Sent off favourite under regular rider Aidan Coleman, the son of Walk In The Park cruised into contention at the second last and was ridden to lead from the final fence. Keeping on well on the run-in, the JP McManus-owned bay led by three lengths and three quarters on the line.

Speaking after the race, Aidan Coleman said, “He's done very well to win that at the end of a long year – this is a proper horse as we all know.”

“It was brave to run him,” Nicky Henderson later admitted. Reflecting on next season’s plans, the trainer said, “I think we have to stick to two miles, that was my final deciding factor. If we could take on these two-milers, who we're going to meet next year, and he can cope with them now round here, then we can start thinking of Tingle Creeks and things like that next year.”

“Brave” could also be used to describe Paul Holden and Michael Shefflin’s €140,000 purchase of Jonbon at the Derby Sale, a decision that was rewarded by an impressive debut between the flags, before selling to JP McManus for a record-breaking £570,000.

Since then, Jonbon has won 10 of his 12 starts under rules, including seven Graded victories. Bred by Lotfi Kohli, the son of Walk In The Park is a full-brother to the top-class Douvan (Walk In The Park).