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'You can argue Jonbon should not even be favourite' - get Paul Kealy's view

Jonbon: exciting Seven Barrows youngster
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Friday: 1.15 Newbury
Play Ladbrokes 5-A-Side On Football 'National Hunt' Maiden Hurdle | 2m½f | 4yo+ | RTV/ITV3

Deja vu anyone? A year ago in this race a hyped Nicky Henderson-trained youngster, the brother of a superstar, made his debut over hurdles and was beaten into fourth at odds of 2-5 by the now top-class My Drogo.

That was Sprinter Sacre's brother Flinteur Sacre, who was last seen in May sinking without trace in a Uttoxeter handicap hurdle off a mark of 109.

His owner JP McManus will hope lightning doesn't strike twice with Douvan's brother Jonbon, a £570,000 purchase who arrives with an impressive bumper success for Henderson to his name.

Douvan: brilliant performer for Willie Mullins

The injury-prone Douvan was six when he won the last of his eight Grade 1s, so Jonbon has some catching up to do given he reaches that age in just over a month and has yet to run over hurdles.

There will no doubt be some punters who fall for the hype, and William Hill did when they opened up at 1-4 on Thursday, but take the pedigree away and there's a strong argument for saying Jonbon shouldn't even be favourite.

Winner of his only point-to-point, Jonbon impressed on his bumper debut at Newbury in March, earning an RPR of 124, which is high for a debut.

However, that success  came in a slow time and it looks as if it was a weak bumper for the track, with none of those behind him yet to win and the best of them so far returning a peak RPR of just 115 over hurdles.

Compare that with Good Risk At All, who, on his third start last season, comfortably won a Newbury bumper – in his case a Listed one – in a time nearly seven seconds faster than Jonbon on ground described as the same, and carrying 6lb more.

That's not all. The runner-up was I Like To Move It, who was receiving 13lb and is now rated 138 after three unbeaten runs over hurdles; the third was Gelino Bello, who is rated 140; and the fourth and fifth (the latter being Might I, a deeply impressive debut winner recording an RPR of 135) have also won.

Jumping is the name of the game, though, and Good Risk At All showed he still had plenty to learn when only second at odds of 1-3 on his hurdles debut at Chepstow.

He's had a run, though, and there's no way one of these two should be 1-4 and the other 5-1, which was how Hills bet on the opening show.
Race analysis by Paul Kealy


What they say

Dan Skelton, trainer of Boombawn
I think he'll step forward from his first run and he'll need to as the front two in the betting have serious reputations. I'm very happy with him and I think he'll make a grand horse through this season and beyond.

Charlie's Glance: looked promising when winning at Newbury last season

Andrew Martin, trainer of Charlie's Glance
He's had a nice summer and we've done as much work as we can with him, so we think he's in good shape and we've also done lots of schooling. The form of his win at Newbury last season looks good, while we rode the wrong race in the bumper at Aintree and he got roughed up a bit in it. He ran on fairly well and it wasn't like he ran badly.

Sam Thomas, trainer of Good Risk At All
He was green first time out and would have learned so much, so we're hoping he steps up, but he was beaten first time out in a bumper when we thought a lot of him. His form's rock solid and maybe he's the type who just takes a run to sharpen up. He's a lovely horse and we've form around Newbury. If we beat Jonbon we're back on track and the sky's the limit, and if we get beaten by him, we'll take it from there. Win, lose or draw, we've a very nice horse and we'll have lots of fun with him.

Nicky Henderson, trainer of Jonbon
He's fine and schooled very well on Thursday morning. He had an awayday at Newbury last week and took it very well; he's in cracking form.

Reporting by James Burn

Friday's race previews:

12.40 Newbury: Who can follow Denman and Bobs Worth's lead by landing Grade 2 novice chase?

1.50 Newbury: 'We've always seen him as a chaser' - smart Boothill starts out over fences

2.25 Newbury: Grade 1 fourth Fanion D'Estruval out to bag competitive handicap off top weight

3.00 Newbury: 'This is an important race' - Paisley Park plan to be determined by Newbury run

3.35 Newbury: Why in-form Fergal O'Brien 'holds the key' to competitive handicap hurdle


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If we beat Jonbon we're back on track and the sky's the limit
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