Triumph Hurdle Tips - 1:30pm Cheltenham

2019 JCB Triumph Hurdle Preview

The big race for the juvenile hurdlers opens up proceedings on the last day of the Festival. The Triumph Hurdle has produced some terrific races down the years and has also given us four Champion Hurdlers and a Grand National winner, which was Tiger Roll in 2014.

The Irish won it last year with Farclas who was trained by Gordon Elliott, he beat two horses from the Willie Mullins yard. Eight out of the last nine placed horses have been from Ireland and maybe that’s a trend worth noting.

Joseph O’Brien who was responsible, all but in name, for Ivanovich Gorbatov in 2016 seems to hold all the aces this year, he has some very nice juveniles off the flat and his leading contender is Sir Erec.

The youngster was trained on the flat by Joseph’s father Aidan, he won a Listed race at Limerick and then was a fine third to Stradivarius in a Group 2 contest at Ascot. His mark of 109 was always going to take him places over hurdles as longs as he could jump adequately.

He opened his account at Leopardstown at the end of December by a neck from Tiger Tap Tap, the winning margin was narrow but it was comfortable enough. He then went to the Dublin Festival and showed the benefit of that first run when trouncing the opposition in the Grade 1 Spring Juvenile Hurdle.

He won by six lengths from his stable mate Gardens Of Babylon with Surin and Tiger Tap Tap just in behind. That form is rock solid and the way Sir Erec disposed of his rivals was top class and if shows that kind of form here he will be very hard to beat.

O’Brien has a good back up team and Gardens Of Babylon has done little wrong in three starts. He won on his debut at Punchestown beating the well regarded Surin, he was then beaten by that horse at Fairyhouse in a very tight finish, although it was still a very good effort. 

As mentioned last time out he was runner up to Sir Erec and with both horse being owned by J.P.McManus the jockey bookings will be interesting.

Tiger Tap Tap looks to be the Willie Mullins first string despite being beaten on his first two starts. He has showed a very high level of form and it’s possible the track at Cheltenham will suit him and also he will have learnt from his two races to date.

Last year’s winning yard has a promising sort in Authorizo, he bolted up on his hurdles debut at Fairyhouse at the end of January and could be absolutely anything. Last time out he was a decent third in graded company and Jack Kennedy rides for Gigginstown Stud.

The English look up against it here to be honest, one of the leading fancies from the Nicky Henderson yard Adjali was comprehensively beaten in the trial race here in January by Fakir D’oudairies. It’s hard to see him reversing that form but is rated 145 which gives him every chance of reaching the frame.

Henderson's other runner is the unbeaten Pentland Hills, he won a small race at Plumpton on debut and looked a useful sort, he's only rated 73 on the flat so maybe not quite up to this standard just yet.

Paul Nicholls is responsible for French import Pic D’Orhy, ha has won three hurdle races from six starts, all back in his native land and has yet to see a British racecourse. Nicholls has used this tactic before when winning the Fred Winter Juvenile race with Diego Du Charmil on his UK debut. Sam Twiston-Davies gets the leg and is one of three runners from Ditcheat.

Quel Destin is another Nicholls inmate who has gone from strength to strength this season, he’s the dead opposite of Pic D’Orhy and comes here with 9 starts under his belt. He has won five races and recorded a personal best at Chepstow in late December when winning a Grade 1 contest from Adjali. He may be exposed but can be relied upon to run his race. He looks the first string and Harry Cobden rides. 

The third Nicholls runner is Ecco, he was sixth on his debut at Kempton, beaten 20 lengths so will have to come on a lot for that effort and will be ridden by Harry Skelton.


Punters Lounge Tip: Sir Erec 7/4 at Betfair - Click Here To Bet
 

Triumph Hurdle Trends
Triumph Hurdle Previous Winners
Year WinnerJockeyTrainerSP
2019Pentland HillsNico de BoinvilleNicky Henderson20/1
2018FarclasJack KennedyGordon Elliott9/1
2017Defi Du SeuilRicahrd JohnsonPhilip Hobbs5/2
2016Ivanovich GorbatovBarry GeraghtyAidan O'Brien9/2
2015Peace And CoBarry GeraghtyNicky Henderson2/1
2014Tiger RollDavy RussellGordon Elliott10/1
2013Our ConorBryan CooperDessie Hughes4/1
2012Countrywide FlameDougie CostelloJohn Quinn33/1
2011ZarkandarDaryl JacobPaul Nicholls13/2
2010SoldatinoBarry GeraghtyNicky Henderson6/1
2009ZaynarBarry GeraghtyNicky Henderson11/2
2008Celestial HaloRuby WalshPaul Nicholls5/1

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