Horses To Follow » Jay Jay Reilly

Jay Jay Reilly

Jay Jay Reilly sprang a 33/1 shock in winning the Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton on Saturday, but it appeared as if there was no real fluke about the win. He travelled really well through his race towards the back of the field early on, and he made good ground at the end of the back straight, and that was after he had been slightly hampered by Mark Of Gold’s fall at the fourth last flight. He travelled best of all into the home straight and he found lots when Tristan Durrell asked him to go on and win his race. The runner-up did make a mistake at the final flight, but he wasn’t really closing on the run to the line.

This was Dan Skelton’s horse’s first run over hurdles in almost two years, but he had progressed over fences since then, and he was racing here off a hurdles mark that was 4lb lower than his chase mark. The handicapper raised him by 7lb for this win to a mark of 139, just 3lb higher than his chase mark. While, as an eight-year-old, he is older than your typical winner of this race, this was only his sixth run over hurdles, so he still has scope for progression. Dan Skelton is obviously a top-class target trainer, but Jay Jay Reilly was allowed go off at a big price. It made sense that Harry Skelton was at Warwick, where he had a really good book of rides, including Etalon and Grey Dawning and Galia Des Liteaux, but, while Tristan Durrell is very good value for his 3lb claim, there didn’t appear to be a great deal of stable confidence behind Jay Jay Reilly. He may remain under-rated.

Kempton, 13th January 2024