With an eye-watering sales prices of £570k – a record for a point-to-pointer – and the mighty Douvan as a full-brother, Jonbon’s price tag and reputation were always going to precede him. Horses with such a burden of expectation are often doomed to fail, but to date Nicky Henderson’s gelding has more than lived up to the hype.
Having landed his Grade 1 over hurdles at Aintree last year, Jonbon has found the bigger obstacles no barrier to success and has ascended serenely to the head of the market for the Arkle with two flawless victories over fences, with foot-perfect jumping already a hallmark of his nascent chasing career. He will be a heavy favourite to make it eight wins from nine starts in the Grade 2 Kingmaker Chase at Warwick this Saturday (2:40), where he will face three opponents, including the improving Haddex Des Obeaux.
Some top-class horses have won the Kingmaker over the years, including Henderson’s future Gold Cup winner Long Run, and Jonbon will be looking to emulate the likes of previous winners Flagship Uberalles and Voy Por Ustedes, who both went onto Cheltenham Festival glory. Last year’s Kingmaker winner, Edwardstone, also did the Kingmaker-Arkle double, and Betzone are offering a special price of 6/4 for Jonbon to follow in his footsteps and win both races.