Mark Howard Publications Ltd

Willmount impresses on hurdles debut

09-November-2023 18:58
in General
by Admin

Newbury staged their first jumps meeting of the season and it was local handlers Nicky Henderson and Harry Derham who stole the headlines with a double apiece. Willmount was having his first run for the former having won a couple of bumpers for Neil Mulholland last season and he couldn't have made a better start to his hurdling career in the two miles novice event scoring by thirteen lengths. While the form may not amount to much, there was no mistaking the manner in which the Blue Bresil gelding trounced his opponents. Jumping fluently, Nico De Boinville's mount led at the second flight and steadily built up a healthy advantage. Powering clear in the homestraight, his performance reminded me of Shishkin's maiden hurdle win over the same C&D in January 2020. It will be interesting to see where he heads the five year old next - Henderson indicated afterwards that he wouldn't be keen to have a crack at the Formby Novices' Hurdle at Aintree (formerly the Tolworth at Sandown). Despite this victory being achieved over the minimum trip, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him step up in distance for the Grade 1 Challow Novices' Hurdle at the Berkshire track (30th December). 

Jonjo O'Neill's horses are in good nick at present and he has another promising young chaser on his hands in the shape of Inch House. A point winner for Sam Curling in Ireland, he won over hurdles at Chepstow last term and ran encouragingly on his fencing bow at the same track last month. Contesting the 0-135 staying novices' handicap chase, he was always moving well under Jonjo jnr and wasn't hard pressed to beat Theatre Man by nearly five lengths off a mark of 120. A £125,000 purchase, he looks in the mould of stablemate Monbeg Genius and looks the ideal type for something like the Midlands or Scottish National in the spring. He has a lot more to offer having only had six races.


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