Anthony Honeyball made it clear on page 81 of One Jump Ahead that he felt the nicely bred Marilyn Monroe was a well handicapped mare for this season. A half-sister to stablemate Regal Encore, she won a bumper on decent ground in the spring of last year but her four runs over hurdles had been in testing conditions. Allocated a mark of 82 for her handicap debut at Taunton on Wednesday, the daughter of Scorpion was well supported (9/2 into 13/8) beforehand. Partnered by Rex Dingle, she cantered through much of the race but her rider had to get serious after the last and she only just prevailed by the narrowest of margins. The seven year old holds a further three entries next week but it remains to be seen whether she is turned out quickly because the handicapper can't be hard on her following such a close call. However, it was a case of job done with such a gamble landed.
Chris Gordon nominated Lord Baddesley and Twominutes Turkish (100/30) as his two horses to follow in OJA and following the former's victory on his reappearance at Fontwell earlier this month, the latter did likewise when bounding clear to win by fifteen lengths on his return to action at Fakenham. The five year old had shaped well on his bumper debut last season before hanging away his chance next time. Given a break, the Mahler gelding produced a fine round of jumping at the East Anglian track to make all and win with plenty in hand. He looks another nice prospect for a yard going places. Gordon has been an excellent addition to OJA.
It was another decent day for OJA with Isolate (100/30), Marliyn Monroe (13/8), Twominutes Turkish (100/30) and Zizaneur (7/1). The last named provided Philip Hobbs with a welcome winner in a conditions hurdle at Auteuil. Owned by David Maxwell, who is currently sidelined through injury, the gelding was partnered by Jame Reveley and was given an excellent front running ride. A seven lengths winner, he is open to plenty of improvement.
The entries for the Paddy Power Gold Cup and Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham were published on Wednesday. Don't forget both races will be extensively previewed in the first One Jump Ahead Update. If you haven't already ordered a copy, please head to the Publications section of the site. The Update is £6.00 or £34.00 for all 5.
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