Durack praise for Jonjo Jr at Ludlow
A review of Wednesday's meeting at Ludlow as Jonjo O'Neill jnr won aboard Just Joelliott for Seamus Durack.
Tara Mist (right) won after a long lay-off
Trainer Seamus Durack feels young jockey Jonjo O'Neill jnr could have what it takes to forge a successful career in the saddle after he rode Just Joelliott to victory at Ludlow.
Son and namesake of the two-time champion jockey and now leading trainer, O'Neill certainly has the right pedigree.
The 7lb claimer demonstrated he could also have the skills to make some headway in the sport judged by the manner in which he cajoled Just Joelliott (10-1) to a half-length success in a handicap hurdle for amateur riders.
O'Neill was claiming just his third National Hunt triumph in Britain, but has also ridden winners in Ireland and on the Flat.
Durack said: "He got a nice little ride there. They went very quick early on, but Jonjo was cool and he didn't panic.
"He was nice and composed and was strong enough in the finish.
"He also talks a fair bit of sense and has definitely got the basics to be a very decent jockey."
Just Joelliott had not showed a great deal in four previous starts this season, but Durack was not too surprised by the outcome.
The Upper Lambourn handler said: "I was hoping that stepping up in trip and getting the right conditions would see him come into his own.
"Putting a tongue-tie on him and riding him like that was also beneficial.
"He's always looked like a stayer, so this now opens up a few more options."
Ultimatum Du Roy seized the day in the David Byrne Handicap Chase – but the race was not without incident.
Everything changed at the 18th fence, when the fall of Beer Goggles led to Azert De Coeur and Three Of A Kind both unseating their jockeys. The O'Neill-ridden Twirling Magnet also fell at the same fence.
Ultimatum Du Roy (8-1) and Winged Crusader then became involved in a rare old tussle along the run-in, with the former on top by a nose when it mattered.
Trainer Alex Hales said: "It was an eventful race, and perhaps we got a bit lucky, but he kept galloping on and it was really good to see him battle like that.
"He likes flat, right-handed tracks, for some reason, but there are no plans just yet.
"It was a messy old race so the handicapper shouldn't put him up too much, you'd imagine."
Un Prophete turned the feature, the £10,000 Perrott Properties Chase, into an absolute cakewalk as the 5-2 favourite eased 16 lengths clear of Nefyn Bay.
Venetia Williams is now giving thought to running the six-year-old grey under a penalty next week.
Training performance of the day went to Henry Daly, who saddled Tara Mist (3-1) to victory in the mares' handicap hurdle after a 395-day absence. It was a third course success for the eight-year-old.
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