Jonbon wins thrilling Betway Top Novices’ Hurdle
Jonbon got back to winning ways in the Betway Top Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree after seeing it out best in a thrilling battle with El Fabiolo.
Having lost his unbeaten record behind his Nicky Henderson-trained stablemate Constitution Hill in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham, the question was how the full-brother to Douvan would bounce back from that.
A little warm beforehand, he settled beautifully for Aidan Coleman and followed leaders Salamanca Bay and Aucunrisque throughout the early stages.
There were still plenty in with chances approaching the third-last when Salamanca Bay unseated his rider who in turn hampered El Fabiolo, who had closed up menacingly.
It did not stop his momentum too badly, however, and in a matter of strides he was back upsides Jonbon and the pair settled down for a real scrap.
For a few strides it looked as if Willie Mullins’ lightly-raced El Fabiolo was going to prevail, but Jonbon (even-money favourite) really knuckled down.
In the final 50 yards he began to pull away and won by a neck, with the pair a yawning 19 lengths clear.
The win brought up a Grade One double for Henderson, Coleman and owner JP McManus following on from Epatante on Thursday.