Paddy Power Pay Out On Jonbon Winning the Arkle 5 MONTHS Early

Paddy Power Jonbon Early Payout

They might be known for their early payout stunts, but even for Paddy Power, this one was a doozy.

In November of 2022, with around five months to go until the 2023 Cheltenham Festival would get underway, Paddy Power paid out on Jonbon winning the Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices’ Chase.

If you look at his record you can understand why.

Jonbon had been a winner from his first race in November of 2020. In fact, there was only one occasion on which the horse didn’t mange to come first before his Arkle attempt in 2023, and that was his attempt at the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in 2022, when he came 2nd.

After his trainer released a video of Jonbon training, the decision to pay out was made based on the strength of what everyone saw.

A spokesperson for Paddy Power said:

“Sometimes bookies love to overreact in their Cheltenham markets, but we couldn’t possibly be accused of such misdemeanours if racing fans watch these videos.

“It was nigh on impossible not to pay out on Jonbon winning the Arkle after he floated and jumped those obstacles pretty well, in our opinion, ahead of his eagerly awaited chasing bow.”

Is it just me or does that read as slightly tongue in cheek?

Anyway, he was the 7/2 favourite at the time, and although an exact figure was not given, Paddy Power said that they paid out a “sizeable five-figure sum”.

Jonbon Comes 2nd in the Arkle at Cheltenham

History repeated itself when the big day finally came around, and Jonbon only managed second place once again.

It was Willie Mullins’ steed, El Fabiolo that came up with the goods on the day, having stayed just behind the leader for much of the race alongside Jonbon.

Before the second last, Jonbon was in second place with El Fabiolo trapped on the inside in 3rd, but as they took the fence things levelled out. Dysart Dynamo did not jump well and dropped back, and El Fabiolo took the lead before the last, where Dysart Dynamo fell on landing.

Jonbon cleared the fence well but just didn’t have enough in the tank to catch El Fabiolo, who eventually crossed the line with plenty of space between the two horses.

Clearly determined for Jonbon to get a win at Cheltenham, trainer Nicky Henderson entered him for the 2024 Queen Mother Champion Chase, but had to declare the horse a non-runner after illness swept through his stable.

Perhaps it was just never meant to be.