Jonjo O'Neill has enjoyed another productive campaign and Theme Tune provided Jackdaws Castle with their 52nd winner of the season at Ludlow on Thursday. Following his dispersal in September, owner Trevor Hemmings left three horses in training with O'Neill and they include Ladbrokes Trophy winner Cloth Cath and this lightly raced Fame And Glory gelding. Sixth on his debut in a bumper at Warwick over a year ago, he was third at Chepstow in November in a similar event. Sent hurdling for the first time at the Shropshire track, he didn't look totally at ease on the tight turns but stayed on well in the home straight to wear down the same owner's Onchan on the run-in. His victory was gained over two miles five and the six year old, who cost €115,000 as a store horse three years ago, is very much a three miles chaser in the making. There may be more wins to be gained over timber but the well bred Theme Tune will come into his own over the larger obstacles next Autumn and beyond. He is a likeable type.
Theme Tune (13/2), along with Fabrique En France (11/4) and Brinkley (5/2) at Wincanton, provided the Talking Trainers section in One Jump Ahead with three more winners. It was good to see the last named return to form with a workmanlike win in the two miles five handicap hurdle at the Somerset venue. The ex-Irish gelding had created a good impression when scoring on his UK bow last spring but was bitterly disappointing on his return to action at Exeter last time. This was much more like it from the grey who was fitted with cheekpieces for the first time. A winner here off a mark of 130, it wouldn't be a surprise if David Pipe ran him in a Pertemps qualifier next month in order to take his chance in the Final at the Cheltenham Festival. The Martaline gelding looks a strong stayer who ought to have no problem getting three miles.
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