Grade 1 Glory Continues Amazing Aintree For Walk In The Park
Jonbon (6g Walk In The Park - Star Face, by Saint Des Saints) dug deep to secure his first Grade 1 victory in Friday’s Top Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree’s Grand National meeting.
The Nicky Henderson-trained bay was sent off favourite, having won all but one of his previous starts, his sole defeat being a fine second in the Grade 1 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.
Regular rider Aidan Coleman guided Jonbon into the lead from two out and asked him to challenge at the final fence when joined by El Fabiolo. The pair battled neck-and-neck to the line, where Jonbon prevailed by a neck, with all of 19 lengths back to their nearest rival.
Speaking after the race, Henderson said, “He's a lovely, big, young horse and his future probably lies over fences. You have to admire him for the way he battled there, that was tough. He had to be brave and he was, very much so.”
Friday marked a third Graded success overall for Jonbon, who was bought by JP McManus for £570,000 following an impressive debut at Dromahane for Ellmarie Holden. Bred by Lotfi Kohli, he emerged with a lofty reputation as a full-brother to the top-class Douvan (Walk In The Park).
Jonbon continues a terrific Aintree Festival so far for Walk In The Park, who kicked off the meeting with a Grade 2 winner in Ashroe Diamond, while his son Croke Park topped the Goffs UK Aintree Sale at £400,000.