The three-day extravaganza of national hunt racing at Cheltenham racecourse over the weekend was nothing short of “equine brilliance”.
There were numerous serious eye-catching runs, many worthy of serious consideration for the flagship festival in March however one Irish runner in particular has got my ante-post senses tingling.
The Gearoid O’Loughlin trained JAROB made his Cheltenham racecourse debut, over the tough cross-country course, finishing a really encouraging 3rdplace. For most of the contest he jumped fluently, jockey on-board Mark Enright was contented to stalk the pace however the front two slipped the field three obstacles from home, but the manner that Jarob stuck to the task screamed “I will be back in March, for my revenge”.
The eventual winner Josie’s order is an “Old hand” at these banks’ races, nobody could begrudge her winning, perhaps jockey on-board Mark Walsh ought to be given more credit, as he really made the difference. The runner up Fact of the matter ran a gallant race, but really should have overhauled Josie’s order close to home.
Jarob is now 11-years-old, undoubtedly further progression is almost ruled out however the fact he looks to still possess that willingness to win, could make him a serious contender for the cross-country race in March. Using these types of early season preparation races can pay huge dividends.
O’Loughlin is a rookie trainer, yet he appears to have learnt enough to-date to suggest his big festival winner is forthcoming. Jarob’s owner Chris Jones has put his upmost faith in O’Loughlin’s training skills, it looks likely he will be rewarded with a massive run at the forthcoming Cheltenham festival.
I am fairly confident that Jarob will be going to Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase on 13th March on that back of that dazzling performance, he needs serious consideration. The champagne will certainly be on ice that day. “Come on Jarob”.