A Look Ahead To The Triumph Hurdle - Two Weeks To Go

A Look Ahead To The Triumph Hurdle - Two Weeks To Go

The JCB Triumph Hurdle - a Grade One National Hunt hurdle race, is the curtain raiser on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival, which stages the Gold Cup later in the afternoon.

The Triumph gets the heart pumping for racegoers, and is run on the New Course at Prestbury Park over a distance of approximately two miles, where there are eight hurdles to be jumped in total.

The race is exclusive for juvenile novice hurdlers, and is the leading event in this category in the National Hunt calendar.

The 'Juvenile' category is only open to three-year-olds if the race takes place in October-December; or to four-year-olds for races between January and April.

Winners of this contest often can go on to compete in subsequent editions of the Champion Hurdle. Four horses have achieved victory in both events – Clair Soleil, Persian War, Kribensis and Katchit.

Having said that, those that begin jumps racing at a young age could have more of an opportunity to open up several other doors down the line.

tiger roll

Last season, Tiger Roll - the 2014 winner of the Triumph, went onto claim the Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham - arguably the most contradictory race at the Festival, before landing Grand National glory at Aintree in April.

Defi Du Seuil won this race back in 2017, and although taking his time, has established himself as a useful chaser for owner JP McManus.

In fact, Philip Hobbs' 6yo is the favourite for the both the Arkle Chase and the JLT Novices Chase, with his future still yet to be decided.

Last year the race was won by Farclas, trained at the time by Gordon Elliott and sporting the colours of Gigginstown, however he has since moved back to France and joined up with former trainer Jean Michel Lefebvre.

This year, Ireland boast a considerable amount of chances- most notably from the uprising Joseph O'Brien yard.

Sir Erec - as short as an even-money favourite with most bookmakers, was actually with Joseph's father Aidan at the end of last year, and finished third behind Stradivarius in the QIPCO Long Distance Cup at Ascot before making the switch.

The now 4yo is part of a whole host of new recruits and poses a perfect two out of two over hurdles, including success in the Grade One Spring Juvenile Hurdle at the Dublin Irish Festival at the beginning of February.

His stable companion Fakir D'oudairies - recently purchased by JP McManus, looks to be heading for the Supreme instead, meaning O'Brien could still have top juvenile Gardens Of Babylon at his disposal.

sir erec juvenile triumph hurdle joseph o brien mark walsh jp mcmanus

He was best of the rest behind his stablemate Sir Erec when last seen at Leopardstown, and won a tidy maiden at Punchestown over Christmas on his first start for Joseph, but could represent the latter instead in the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle.

Band Of Outlaws is another who's future remains up in the air.

Quel Destin meanwhile will surely look to make a race of it for Paul Nicholls, and poses some equally impressive form himself.

Victorious in his last five successive outings - that run includes two wins in Grade Two's and one in a Grade One at Chepstow before the turn of the year.

On his latest start at Haydock, he was far too good for the opposition, and his trainer provided a positive update on his Triumph hopeful when we went to his yard at Ditcheat on Tuesday.

Champion Trainer Nicky Henderson looks poised to send the Simon Munir and Isaac Souede owned Adjali - after Fusil Raffles who burst on the British scene in the same colours with an almighty display at Kempton on Saturday just gone, was ruled out of the Festival after appearing to chip his leg at the penultimate hurdle.

Adjali demands respect in the field having only been beaten by a neck by Quel Destin when sent off the 4/6 favourite in a Grade One in Wales over Christmas.

Quel Destin

However he was blown apart by Fakir D'oudairies in a trial for this race back in January, but should he win the Supreme on the opening race on Tuesday or at least go close, it could really boost the form for Adjali.

Pentland Hills is another late newcomer, having struck at Plumpton in the last few days on his long-awaited first start for Nicky Henderson.

The handicapper looks to have given him a lot to do on the basis of that performance should he take his place in the Fred Winter, so connections are eyeing a spot in the big one itself.

Gordon Elliott could have three runners that play a major part in the race - Surin and Authorizo in the colours of Gigginstown, along with Coeur Sublime.

Fanfan Du Seuil will also need to up his game for Tom George, having been headed here in a Qualifier back in December.

The one they all need to beat by the looks of things is Sir Erec, who as mentioned, sits no bigger than the even-money favourite as he continues to be backed off the boards.

Fakir D'oudairies is next best at 5/1 should he choose to NOT go for the Supreme instead - which he is likely to do so.

Quel Destin - best of Britain is priced around 7/1, whilst Band Of Outlaws, Pic D'Orhy and Tiger Tap Tap make up the top six in the betting.