Jonjo O'Neill junior could be celebrating again on Tuesday, while Warren Greatrex has plenty to look forward to as well.
1. Moore the merrier
Arthur Moore hadn’t saddled a winner since June 2017 before getting back in the groove courtesy of Brosna George’s Down Royal strike at the start of November. The same horse fell on his next start but has since won two handicaps back-to-back at Fairyhouse and that horse’s double sandwiched a maiden hurdle success for stablemate At Your Ease at Naas in the middle of December. So it’s safe to say the Moore yard is in pretty good nick and it’s back to At Your Ease to maintain the run as he takes to fences for the first time in public in today’s Racing Again January 27th Beginners Chase. The massive son of Scorpion is certainly built to be a chaser and while the two-mile trip could be on the sharp side, he looks sure to go well on his first visit to Fairyhouse, where the long, sweeping turns and stiff finish will definitely play to his strengths.
2. Masters of their trade
Warren Greatrex could do nothing but offer a wry smile after Jammin Masters bumped into wildly well-handicapped French import Valtor at Ascot last month. The trainer had targeted the valuable Garrard Silver Cup Handicap Chase since the horse’s pleasing comeback run when staying on for second behind subsequent Cheltenham winner Count Meribel at Carlisle and the plan essentially paid off, barring the obvious - he was second best on the day. Valtor was put up 12lb for the eight-length victory so Jammin Masters clearly faced an impossible task there. Not so on Tuesday, where he faces just four rivals in the Sky Sports Racing Virgin 535 Novices’ Chase at Newcastle. One of those rivals, Debece, has 4lb in hand off the official figures and can be expected to improve on his chasing debut effort at Chepstow in mid-October. But he’s not been sighted since and Jammin Masters has plenty in his favour under champion jockey Richard Johnson (providing he's passed fit).
3. O'Neills to serve it up?
Greatrex is unlikely to make the trip to Gosforth Park as he saddles three runners at Lingfield and they include rising star Emitom, who missed a recent engagement at Newbury with a ‘snotty nose’ but had looked well above average when beating Lisnagar Oscar at Ffos Las in November. He’ll be a warm order for the opening starsports.bet Novices’ Hurdle but the eye is drawn to the relatively low-key Read Adam Kirby’s Exclusive Blog starsportsbet.co.uk Handicap Hurdle, in which top weight Pottlereaghexpress should be monitored closely. Trainer Jonjo O’Neill looks to be just clicking into a bit of form and jockey, Jonjo Jr, is riding high on the back of his Lanzarote Hurdle win at the weekend. He rides the six-year-old mare for the first time and, following a promising handicap debut effort at Hereford last time, could prove leniently treated as she takes another step up in distance from a 1lb lower mark.