Jukebox Jive calls tune on debut at Fontwell
Jukebox Jive underlined his potential by making a winning debut over hurdles at Fontwell Park.
And trainer Anthony Honeyball believes his charge could develop into a Triumph Hurdle contender.
The three-year-old son of Jukebox Jury delivered a superb performance to win the Mike Brogan’s 40th Birthday Juvenile Hurdle over the extended 2m 1f on Sunday.
Under a confident, front-running ride by David Noonan, victory rarely looked in doubt as Jukebox Jive got the better of the Alan King-trained Lisp by three-and-a-half lengths.
Honeyball was delighted by the performance of his gelding, who was sent off the 4/5 favourite at the West Sussex venue.
The Dorset handler said: ‘He had stamina in his pedigree and on his performances on the flat.
‘For a juvenile, to pop out in front and keep it simple, you have to say fair play to him for keeping so straight and running as economically as he did.
‘He has got a very good attitude and is a very good horse - as he was on the flat. He has taken to hurdles brilliantly and he did it nicely.
‘He stepped on it down the back straight and had most of them in trouble bar one. I’d like to have another look at the second horse.
‘That looked very threatening and on another day on better ground we might have had a bit more of a handful with that one.’
Honeyball has earmarked the Bet At racinguk.com Introductory Hurdle at Sandown on December 8 as Jukebox Jive’s next assignment.
And the Mosterton handler believes Jukebox Jive could have a crack at the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival later this season.
‘We’re going to Sandown next for an introductory hurdle. It’s for horses who have only run in one hurdle race.
‘I’d say we have a squeak of winning it but we’ll see what else turns up. He is rated 97 on the flat and if the ground doesn’t turn up bad, it will be very interesting.
‘He could be good enough to win the Fred Winter and races like that, even the Triumph if the ground was on the slower side of good.’