You know what they say about breeding champion horses: it’s all in the genes.
If that’s true, then Jonbon – a four-year-old brother to the legendary thoroughbred – could be set for great things in the sport.
He is a full blood relation to the former Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and Arkle winner, who himself has the likes of Montjeu (winner of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Prix du Jockey Club and the King George) and Sadler’s Wells (Irish 2,000 Guineas, Eclipse Stakes) in his immediate lineage.
Jonbon made his first ever start in a point-to-point race at Dromahane on Sunday, and there were echoes of his big bro as he led the field home by some 15 lengths in the Tattersalls Ireland 4-y-o Maiden.
A cool €140,000 was enough to secure Jonbon when he went on sale at last year’s Tattersalls Ireland Derby Sale, and the lucky owners – Paul Holden and Michael Shefflin – have since had him in training with Ellmarie Holden. On Sunday, Derek O’Connor took the winning ride.
You would think that connections would be planning to sit back, relax and watch their prized asset develop before setting him loose on the National Hunt, but you would think wrong – Holden and Shefflin are planning to ‘flip’ Jonbon for a profit.
Prior to his debut, Shefflin said:
“We’ll look to run him in either a bumper or a point-to-point, and if he runs well we’ll probably look to sell him on.
“If he does something impressive on the racetrack, with that pedigree, he can only go up in value.”
The Swagger of a Champion in the Making
Bred by the Tunisian Lotfi Kohli, Jonbon is the fourth foal from Star Face – who also gave birth to Douvan, the eight-time Grade 1 winner, of course – and sire Walk in the Park.
Unsurprisingly, Shefflin is bullish about the future of his young raider – whether he decides to keep him or not – and noted a similarity to his prodigious sibling.
“He seemed to have a little bit of that swagger that Douvan has,” the owner remarked.
“Physically they’re quite similar, his brother has a massive engine and is a proper athlete so hopefully this guy can be something like him.”
As we know, there is a great demand for the younger offspring and relations to former champions, and now Jonbon has point-to-point success on his CV his value is set to rise even higher such is the appetite for horses that have won between the flags.
Indeed, the connections of Jonbon could probably make a tidy profit already – Ginto, a recent Tattersalls maiden winner, has just changed hands for a whopping €470,000 at the Cheltenham November Sale on account of his point-to-point abilities.
Fancy yourself a slice of the Douvan bloodline? Not only could Jonbon be on the market, but another two-year-old from the lineage is also set to go under the hammer at the Arqana Autumn Sale at Deauville on November 17. Get your bids in now!