Rose Dobbin has Wetherby aim for Jonniesofa

Sun 28 Jan 2018

Jonniesofa will bid to get back on the winning trail in the Towton Novices' Chase at Wetherby on Saturday.

The Grade Two-winning hurdler made a successful start to his career over fences at Carlisle in October, but was a beaten odds-on favourite on his latest start at Haydock, finishing a distant second behind Donald McCain's smart mare Lastbutnotleast.

After giving her charge almost a month to recover from that effort, trainer Rose Dobbin is hoping he can show his true colours in the Grade Two feature in West Yorkshire and potentially earn a tilt at the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

Dobbin said: "It (National Hunt Chase) hasn't been our number one target at all. It would have to be soft ground so we popped him in just in case.

"He goes to Wetherby for the Towton. If he won that well we'd have regretted not giving him the entry at Cheltenham.

"At Haydock they took each other on a long way out and he was giving a nice mare who was on a good day a lot of weight.

"She didn't run so well the other day (at Leicester), but it took a lot out of him. He was quiet for a couple of weeks after that.

"I'm glad he's had five weeks until his next race and hopefully he'll be back to himself."

Another Dobbin inmate who could be Festival-bound is Coole Hall, who has won his last two starts at Newcastle and Kelso.

The Northumbria-based trainer said: "We're going to enter him in the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham.

"He goes for a race at Haydock that Jonniesofa won last year (Albert Bartlett trial, February 17).

"We'll enter him for Cheltenham, just in case. We're excited about him. He's going make such a nice chaser."

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