On Sunday, Jonjo O'Neill spoke highly of his son - Junior’s (jnr) achievements, after his biggest victory to date in Saturday's Lanzarote Hurdle aboard Big Time Dancer.
O'Neill senior, who was one of the greatest jump jockeys of all time and in recent years applied his trade successfully as a trainer, has played a pivotal part of his 20-year-old son’s growth and development.
(Credit: Racing Post) He said: "It was nice to see him [Jnr] ride a good winner on the telly and the fact it was for someone else is important.
“He's mad keen, he's always wanted to do it and has worked hard at it. It's great to see it come right.
“He helps out in the yard and when he wants a bit of advice he usually asks. But he rides for other people and wants to make it as a freelance – that's important to him,” Jonjo Senior concluded.
A graduate of the pony racing circuit, Jnr has now ridden 26 jumps winners, including four on the Flat since starting out in 2015. Big Time Dancer however, was arguably his most emphatic success so far.
On the crown of the bend for home; in the 39th running of the £45,000 Unibet Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle, you could hear from Mark Johnson’s commentary that ‘the eye was drawn to a motionless Jonjo O’Neill jnr on Big Time Dancer’.
The 6yo glided through the field, picking off rivals one by one, before delivering his challenge over the final flight and asserting up the run-in... a mirror image of some of his father’s most famous victories aboard the likes of Sea Pigeon and Dawn Run.
O'Neill senior also responded to O’Neill junior’s great determination to bounce back from injury, after spending much of last season on the sidelines.
“He weighs things up, susses things out and thinks about the job," said O'Neill senior.
"Although he's not had the greatest of luck with injuries, hopefully it will be onwards and upwards now and he'll keep improving with experience,” he finished.