It proved to be another productive afternoon for followers of One Jump Ahead on Friday with Top 40 Prospects entry Linelee King (5/6) and Hill Sixteen (Handicap Snips) both scoring at Sedgefield. The former had finished runner-up on his Rules debut at Chepstow in late October and hadn't been seen since. Olly Murphy's former Irish pointer wasn't hard pressed to go one better in the first division of the bumper. Confidently ridden by Aidan Coleman, the grey made good headway towards the end of the back straight and only had to be pushed out to beat previous winner Blazing Port by five and a half lengths with over eight lengths back to the third. Tristan Davidson's runner-up ran well under a penalty but proved to be a sitting duck to the winner who looks to have a bright future. Likely to be kept to bumper this season, he will be an interesting prospect for novice hurdles next Autumn. His win continues the excellent form of the Murphy stable who have had seven winners this month already. As regards the Top 40, thats 21 winners from 61 runners.
It wasn't quite as straightforward for Hill Sixteen (5/6) who needed every yard of the two miles five trip in the novices' handicap chase. Sue Smith's gelding had proved very disappointing on his first three runs over fences this term and, while he finally got his head in front here, the ex-pointer was hardly convincing having raced on and off the bridle throughout. Dropped six pounds since the start of the campaign, he was aided after the last when runner-up Robaddan nodded on landing and Danny Cook's mount led close home. It is hoped the Court Cave gelding will build on this because his chase form is nowhere near as good as what he produced over hurdles last winter.
Declan Phelan's Irish Pointers were also amongst the winners at Thurles with Ard Abhainn (7/4) taking the Listed mares' novice hurdle. Gordon Elliott's mare had won over further at Clonmel earlier in the season but coped with the drop back in distance here under Davy Russell. Leading at the last, the daughter of Jeremy stayed on strongly to win by three lengths and booked her place in the Dawn Run Mares' Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March. She is a likeable mare and is unbeaten with Russell (2 from 2) on her back.
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