Jeriko Du Reponet stamps class at Newbury

Jeriko Du Reponet cemented his place as the favourite for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle with a comfortable success in the Coral Committed To Safer Gambling ‘Introductory’ Hurdle at Newbury.

Trained by Nicky Henderson, the four-year-old was the talking horse of the autumn following a dazzling display at a Newbury gallops morning and confirmed that promise with a facile victory over course and distance on his Rules debut earlier this month.

Returning to Newbury as the 2-5 favourite to enhance his reputation amongst better company, Jeriko Du Reponet was asked a few more questions before ultimately answering them in good style.

James Bowen, replacing the injured Nico de Boinville, kept close tabs on Gary Moore’s Officer Of State as the five-strong field meandered round Newbury and always had that rival covered heading up the home straight.

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At two out he was joined at the head of proceedings by Alan King’s 95-rated Flat performer
Paradias, with Hughie Morrison’s Secret Squirrel also not far away.

Jeriko Du Reponet and Paradias jumped the last in unison, but it was the class of the Seven Barrows inmate that took over on the run to the line as he cruised clear to win by one-and-three-quarter-lengths from a staying-on Secret Squirrel, with Paradias back in third.

The winner was shortened into 5-1 favourite from 7-1 with Coral for the opening race of the Cheltenham Festival, while Paddy Power were unchanged as 6-1 market leader.

“I didn’t really want to make the running on my own as he is still inexperienced and thankfully Gary Moore’s horse went forward,” James Bowen told Racing TV.

“We hacked around, but once I gave him a squeeze he really quickened for me. I was never really in doubt but once I did squeeze him he gave me some feel. He’s good.

“He was good then and he is obviously quite a smart horse and I was very happy with him.”

Jeriko Du Reponet’s success was the second leg of a quick-fire double for Henderson and Bowen at Newbury, as Spring Note made every yard of the running to land the Play Coral ‘Racing-Super-Series’ For Free Mares’ Handicap Hurdle.

The 11-4 favourite barely saw a rival up the home straight as she surged to an emphatic 16-length triumph.

Spring Note was an easy scorer at Newbury
Spring Note was an easy scorer at Newbury (David Davies/PA)

Bowen added: “To be honest I didn’t realise I was that far clear. I winged out the gates and went a good gallop all the way and probably put the race to bed between the last two hurdles.

“She was definitely slowing down up the run-in and I didn’t want anything to come and nab me but obviously I was really far clear – she has done it really well.

“Possibly the race may have fell apart, she ran over three miles last time and that didn’t suit her, but obviously a drop back in trip helped.”

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