Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Jonjo's Big Plans for Lead Novice

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Jonjo's Big Plans for Lead Novice

Article excerpt

JONJO O'Neill has big-race targets in mind for Taquin Du Seuil after he made it two wins from three starts in the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at Sandown.

The ex-French runner made a winning bow for O'Neill at Uttoxeter in October, but then had to settle for second behind the well-regarded My Tent Or Yours at Ascot.

Tony McCoy settled his mount at the back of the five-runner field before making his challenge on the run to the last.

He easily left prominent runner Le Bec toiling on the run-in, with Taquin Du Seuil finishing a comfortable six lengths to the good.

Favourite Southfield Theatre could finish only third.

O'Neill said: "He's a nice horse, we've always thought a bit of him really. He jumped well and travelled, it was a bit of a muddling race but he did it well so we're very pleased with him.

"He was very keen early on but AP got him settled and seemed to be happy with him all the way after that.

"He'd be the best novice we have at the moment, he has always worked and travelled well.

"The way he works at home, he's equally effective at two miles or two and a half. I'll put him in the Challow and the Tolworth, see what happens with the ground and everything else and hopefully take our chance in one of those.

"As far as I've got at home, he is (Festival class), you'd look forward to going there (Cheltenham) with a live chance in one of the novices."

McCoy and O'Neill were completing a double after John's Spirit (13-2) had earlier claimed the John Jarvis Novices' Handicap Chase.

Bold Sir Brian (11-10 favourite) is another who could be Festivalbound in the spring after he demonstrated his admirable staying qualities in the Listed Sportingbet Future Stars Chase. The six-year-old was a winner at Carlisle on his reappearance and built on that with a comfortable victory over Pacha Du Polder. …

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