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Jet Powered has never run under Rules but, such is his reputation, only Facile Vega is a shorter price in the ante-post market for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.
He certainly catches the eye on profile as he cost 350,000 guineas after winning his only start in an Irish point, and he’s owned by Joe Donnelly who first teamed up with Henderson with the mighty Shishkin.
Jet Powered could make his eagerly anticipated debut under Rules at on Friday in the 12:10 at Newbury in a maiden hurdle which Henderson has tended to target with one of his best novices. Henderson has won the race five times in the last ten years, including with subsequent Grade 1-winning hurdlers in Buveur d’Air (2015) and Jonbon (2021).
The highly regarded Jet Powered is one of three Henderson entries in the race along with Russian Ruler and Luccia. Luccia, who also holds an entry in a listed mares’ novice hurdle at Newbury on Saturday, was comfortably Timeform’s highest-rated mare in bumpers last season after winning a listed race at Sandown by 17 lengths.
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The 2m2½f handicap hurdle at Exeter last Sunday looked like a good-quality and competitive affair as it featured five horses identified by Timeform as likely improvers. However, Djelo, a winner on his only outing in France last season, didn’t need to come off the bridle to score by seven and a half lengths on his first start for Venetia Williams.
Timeform’s reporter went so far as to say “the winner looked one of the best-treated hurdlers in training in effortlessly dismissing a set of rivals a few of whom look well treated themselves”.
Djelo looks sure to be hit with a hefty rise in the handicap for that success, so connections might try to get him out quickly under a 6 lb penalty in the Gerry Feilden at Newbury on Saturday. That penalty shouldn’t be enough to stop him based on what he showed at Exeter.
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Willie Mullins has a host of fascinating entries this weekend.
Two novice hurdlers who received a positive mention in Mullins’ Sporting Life stable tour and are worth noting if making their first start for the yard this weekend are Spanish Harlem (Gowran Park, Saturday) and Impaire et Passe (Navan, Sunday).
At Navan on Sunday there’s a beginners’ chase that Mullins has often used as the starting point for a top prospect, with Vautour, Douvan, Min and Al Boum Photo all featuring on the roll of honour. This time around Mullins has entered Saint Roi and Ha d’Or.