Trainer Jonjo O’Neill had his most productive season in five years last year, amassing £900,000 in prize-money and had a glorious return of 71 winners for the campaign.
He also saddled his first Cheltenham Festival winner since 2016 when Sky Pirate won the Grand Annual. That horse could be another live contender this year in better races.
After reading the Jonjo O’Neill Stable Tour, which can be found on the Racing Post website for members, there was one horse in particular that he sounded unbelievably excited about and it is already a household name.
Grand National beckons again for Cloth Cap
Owned by the late Trevor Hemmings, Cloth Cap was highly progressive last season and was a very warm order for the Grand National at Aintree in April. Things didn’t go to plan for connections and the 11-2 favourite was unfortunately pulled up.
Running off a mark of 148 on the day, it was a glorious opportunity at the weights but you need a lot of luck to win a National. Below, we hear a quote from O’Neill on Cloth Cap for the upcoming season.
‘We went to the Grand National full of confidence last season, but for whatever reason his epiglottis popped up and Tom Scudamore did the right thing in pulling him up. We’ve had that sorted and Tom said he didn’t hear anything at all on his comeback last month, so that’s good news.’
‘I thought he ran a cracker and he should come on for the run physically and mentally. He’s not as well handicapped as last year but we’ll go for the Ladbrokes Trophy again next. If he jumps and travels like last year he’s still going to take a bit of catching. The National was the plan when Trevor [Hemmings] was with us and I don’t see any reason to change it.’
Cloth Cap is a 16-1 chance for the Ladbrokes Trophy and is currently 33-1 for the Grand National.
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