Theme Tune is a horse I highlighted in the Diary last month following his victory at Ludlow on his hurdles debut. Jonjo O'Neill's six year old produced an even better performance to defy a penalty at Carlisle on Monday making it two out of two over obstacles. The drop back in trip wasn't in his favour, especially on the inner track at the Cumbrian venue, but he defy that with a gutsy display to provide his in-form yard with another winner. Driven out to win by a neck from the 124 rated Ulverston, the pair pulled sixteen lenghs clear of the third. He is a cracking prospect for fences next season, especially over staying trips.
Declan Phelan's Irish Pointers were in excellent form at Southwell with Only The Bold (9/4) and Starvoski (5/1) winning at the Nottinghamshire venue. The former was returning from an 81 days break having finished runner-up twice in the Autumn. Evan Williams' gelding pulled readily clear to win by eight and a half lengths and is a useful prospect for the spring onwards. The latter had also been beaten on her two runs earlier in the season but Kim Bailey's mare proved a different proposition here as easily accounted for the ex-French mare Fortunes Melody by fourteen lengths. She will stay further and it will be a surprise if she can't add to this success. It was her yard's 47th winner of the season and their sixth (from 13 runners) in the last fortnight.
Finally, Zanavi (25/1) was highlighted as a hurdler to follow in the November Update having been bought for €34,000 out of Dermot Weld's yard. Runner-up in a twelve furlongs maiden at the Curragh, the lightly raced four year old didn't get involved on his hurdles bow at Punchestown on New Year's Eve in atrocious conditions. However, it was a different story at Fairyhouse with the Champs Elysees gelding running out an easy thirteen lengths victor. Denis Hogan has an interesting prospect on his hands.
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