Jeriko Du Reponet made to battle for Rossington win

Jeriko Du Reponet maintained his unbeaten record in the SBK Supreme Trial Rossington Main Novices’ Hurdle at Doncaster, but he was made to pull out all the stops in the process.

Sent off the 4-6 favourite, Nicky Henderson’s five-year-old was expected to book his ticket for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle with the minimum of fuss following two effortless wins at Newbury.

He was in deeper company on this occasion though, with Ben Pauling’s Fiercely Proud and Sam Thomas’ Lump Sum also unbeaten over hurdles and Nicky Richards’ The Kalooki Kid a dual winner too.

The Grade Two was supposed to have been run at Haydock last week, without Jeriko Du Reponet, but as the race was rescheduled, Henderson rerouted his charge and Mark Walsh travelled from Ireland for the ride.

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Jeriko Du Reponet saw his odds lengthen for the Supreme despite winning
Jeriko Du Reponet saw his odds lengthen for the Supreme despite winning (Ashley Iveson/PA)

He travelled into the race supremely well, despite a few sketchy leaps, but still looked like winning quite comfortably.

However, Fiercely Proud lived up to his name and battled on gamely and then Lump Sum laid down the final challenge before Jeriko Du Reponet settled matters by a length and a quarter.

The bookmakers were not impressed, though, and Betfair pushed the winner out to 8-1 from 5s for the Supreme.

Walsh felt a slow early pace had gone against his mount and expects Jeriko Du Reponet to improve for the experience.

He said: “We went no gallop early, which didn’t suit, and he didn’t even jump great early considering we were going so slow.

“When we picked up going into the straight, he was electric over the last three (hurdles). Early on he was a bit sloppy, but I think that was because he thought he was just going round for a school.

“The race wasn’t run to suit, we went too slow and it turned into a sprint, that was the reading I got.

“In his other races he was just cantering around, but he really had to fight today and he put his head down when I wanted him.

“He’s a lovely horse, he can only beat what’s in front of him and he showed a good attitude.

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“He’s only five and I think he’ll keep improving.”

Henderson, speaking after Jonbon’s surprise defeat at Cheltenham, said: “He had to have a scrap and I think they were decent horses, it was a proper race.

“He will have learnt a lot today.”

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