Jonjo strikes in Pertemps

Jonjo strikes in Pertemps

Holywell broke a frustrating run of second place finishes where it mattered most when holding on to win the Pertemps Final at the Cheltenham Festival.

Trainer Jonjo O’Neill was opening his account for the week and he was steered to victory by Richie McLernon, who would not have been able to believe how well he was going turning into the straight.

He joined the hard-ridden Berties Dream and scooted five lengths clear but Captain Sunshine was staying on from the rear to throw down a challenge.

The 25-1 shot idled a little in front but not enough to enable Captain Sunshine to finish anything better than a length and a half down at the line.

Jetson was third and the winner’s stablemate, Shutthefrontdoor, in fourth.

McLernon remembered his friend Campbell Gilles, the jockey who died in a holiday accident last year, in his post-race celebrations.

He said: “He was idling a little bit but there’s a big crowd there so there’s plenty to look at.

“The blinkers have helped him travel. He’s a slow horse but he travelled well and jumped brilliantly and pulled it out when I needed him to.

“Last year was my first Festival winner and there was another first for Campbell Gilles (on Brindisi Breeze). He’s looking down on me today as I’ve had my second.”

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