It has taken a long time but the Top 40 Prospects in One Jump Ahead are finally hitting some form with 3 winners in the last couple of days. Hot on the heels of Sporting John's win at Exeter on Friday, another pair of ex-Irish pointers, namely Longhouse Poet and Wide Receiver, scored in ready fashion at Navan on Saturday. The trio are tremendous prospects for this season and beyond.
Longhouse Poet had finished an encouraging second on his hurdles debut at Naas last month and Martin Brassil's five year old was a warm order to go one better in the two and a half miles maiden hurdle. Partnered by Derek O'Connor, who had ridden him to success in both his point and bumper win at Punchestown last spring, he was always to the fore and jumped fluently throughout. Leading at the third last, he stayed on well after the last and was value for more than the winning margin of a length and a quarter. His trainer indicated afterwards that the Yeats gelding will be entered in the Grade 1 novice hurdle at Naas in early January. His long-term target though is expected to be the Grade 1 Ballymore NH at Cheltenham, a race his owner Sean Mulryan sponsors and won last season with stablemate City Island. He is a smart novice.
Wide Receiver was acquired for £410,000 in February having won his sole point for Cormac Farrell eleven days earlier. By the same sire as Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Don Cossack, the Sholokhov gelding was partnered by Lisa O'Neill in the concluding bumper on his Rules debut. Sent off 5/4 favourite, Gordon Elliott's charge travelled beautifully before taking over at the two marker. Pushed clear, he scored by nearly three lengths and looks a four year old with a big future. Not surprisingly, his trainer said afterwards that Wide Receiver won't be over raced this term. I would therefore be surprised if he heads to Cheltenham in March for the Festival bumper.
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