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    Backing Crebilly: O’Neill Stable's Hope for Cheltenham Triumph
Backing Crebilly: O’Neill Stable's Hope for Cheltenham Triumph
Jonjo O’Neill by Salman Khan

Backing Crebilly: O’Neill Stable's Hope for Cheltenham Triumph

Anticipation is mounting at Jonjo O’Neill's stable as Crebilly aims to secure the Jackdaws Castle yard its first Cheltenham Festival victory since Sky Pirate's triumph in 2021.

O’Neill boasts an impressive record at the prestigious event, having trained 27 winners, placing him fifth among current trainers vying for further success. His golden era at Cheltenham includes a memorable treble in 2014 with Taquin Du Seuil, More Of That, and Holywell all tasting victory.

Crebilly is the frontrunner for the TrustATrader Plate Handicap Chase, following a convincing win over Tahmuras in his last outing. Additionally, he gained valuable experience at Cheltenham with two appearances at Prestbury Park earlier this season. His fall in the first run, while challenging Ginny’s Destiny, a strong contender for the Grade One Turners Novices’ Chase, did not deter the team.

AJ, O’Neill’s son and assistant, commented on Crebilly’s progress,

“We were pleased with his performance in the first outing this season, despite the fall. He showed promise in his recent victory, displaying the potential we had hoped to see earlier. We are optimistic about his chances in the Plate.”

Another hopeful for the stable is Springwell Bay in the Pertemps Final, qualifying with a second-place finish at Musselburgh. O’Neill shared his thoughts,

“We were looking for guidance on his capabilities during his run at Cheltenham. Heavy ground and top-weight proved challenging for him. Despite not clinching a win since stepping up in distance, his recent performance showcased his stamina. We are hopeful that conditions won’t be too demanding.”

Johnnywho, after two commendable runs in graded races following his maiden hurdle victory, presents each-way possibilities in the Albert Bartlett.

“Johnnywho demonstrated his stamina at Newbury, finishing strongly in the Challow. We aimed for a strong performance at Cheltenham, but the shorter distance saw him outpaced. Extending his trip seemed like the logical step. While he is yet to prove himself, we remain optimistic, especially after his impressive display on testing ground at Newbury.”

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