Jockey Jonjo O’Neill Jnr thrilled to keep high-profile ride on Champ following landmark Ascot win


Jockey Jonjo O’Neill Jnr thrilled to keep high-profile ride on Champ following landmark Grade One success at Ascot last month











Jonjo O’Neill Jnr believes Champ, the horse named after multiple champion jockey AP McCoy, can strengthen his Cheltenham Festival claims in Saturday’s Chapel Stud Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham.

O’Neill bagged his first career Grade One success at Ascot in the Long Walk Hurdle aboard the 10-year-old and insists his talented partner may be even more of a potent force this weekend.

The jockey said: ‘I’m glad to be back on Champ. He gave me a great thrill at Ascot and he is probably the one to beat on Saturday.

Jonjo O’Neill Junior is delighted to ride Champ in Saturday’s Chapel Stud Cleeve Hurdle

Jonjo O’Neill Junior is delighted to ride Champ in Saturday’s Chapel Stud Cleeve Hurdle

‘He was a little bit gassy at Ascot but he was entitled to be as he had not had a proper run for a while.

‘The horse that came second, Thyme Hill, is probably the one you wanted near you as it makes the form solid. He is going to have to be 100 per cent as there are some good horses in there, but that last run will have really sharpened him up.’

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