Grade Two Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle Guide 2022

Cheltenham - January 29 2022
Cheltenham 12:45
Harry Cobden


J: Harry Cobden
T: Paul Nicholls
Age: 4
Weight: 11-3
Days: 33

Hailing from Ditcheat, Iceo made his debut for Paul Nicholls at the end of December and the gelding made a real impression for his new connections.

Picked up from France after an impressive win over hurdles there in August. Despite the form not amounting too much in his native France, Iceo came over to Britain with a high reputation and was sent off favourite for his first run over hurdles over here.

Despite carrying a penalty for his previous win in France, he still managed to easily dispatch a smart field of juvenile hurdlers in a class 2 event at Kempton.

Bryony Frost guided him to a devastating 17 length win but the race has yet to yield any other subsequent winners.
His mighty wide margin win last time out earmarks him as the one to beat here.

However he’s only run on soft ground so rain would be in his favour.

Cheltenham - January 29 2022
Cheltenham 12:45
Davy Russell

Pied Piper

J: Davy Russell
T: Gordon Elliott
Age: 4
Weight: 11-0
Days: 29

Previously wearing the silks of The Queen on the flat for John and Thady Gosden, Pied Piper has since switched yards to Gordon Elliott to start life as a juvenile hurdler over in Ireland.

A winner of his maiden on deep ground on the flat, he failed to taste success again despite a further 7 runs on the flat until he again encountered bottomless ground on his last start for the Gosdens. Winning a 10 furlong handicap in the mud at Leicester with ease.

Making the switch over to hurdles he made the perfect start to life in his new environment and got off the mark at the first time of asking when finding himself in his ideal conditions at Punchestown last month.

Able to cut through the mud better than Vauban, he managed to scalp the short priced favourite under Davy Russell.
The 2 had pulled well clear and the 3rd has run well in defeat in maiden company since.

It’s hard to assess the form but Elliott clearly thinks he’s good enough to warrant a trip over here.
His 3 career wins have all come on heavy ground however.

Cheltenham - January 29 2022
Cheltenham 12:45
Kevin Jones

Silver Shade

J: Kevin Jones
T: Milton Harris
Age: 4
Weight: 11-0
Days: 14

Another recruit from the flat, Silver Shade had 9 runs in the other code for Mark Johnstone. Despite being unable to win on turf, he managed to notch up two wins on the all-weather.

He only managed to amass a rating of 73 before switching to hurdles but showed some smart adaptability to get off the mark at the first time of asking over timber.

His jumping left plenty to be desired however and he lacked some real fluency at a few obstacles but won with a touch of ease.

Soft ground around Kempton looked to really suit him and he tracked the pace well before taking matters into his own hands approaching the last flight.

He steps up majorly in grade and only has a single outing over hurdles behind him. He needs to jump better to have a real chance in this deeper contest.

Cheltenham - January 29 2022
Cheltenham 12:45
Jamie Moore

Moulins Clermont

J: Jamie Moore
T: Gary Moore
Age: 4
Weight: 11-0
OR: 127
Days: 21

With a lofty looking rating of 127 Moulins Clermont represents Gary and Jamie Moore here.

Picked up by connections after coming 3rd in a three year old hurdle on deep ground back in April, the gelding has now made the switch to England but was well beaten behind Boulette on debut.

Despite going off the even money favourite, he failed to land a blow and finished 32 lengths behind the winner.

However, with that run behind him he looked a very different prospect when making every yard of the running when winning at Sandown. Cutting through deep ground with ease, he kicked clear up Sandown’s steep finish and showed some real smart staying power.

He did only beat a small field but bullied them into submission easily.

The form hasn’t been tested since and his best runs of his career have come on deep ground. Unless the heavens truly open over Cheltenham it would be a concern for him to have the pace to get involved.

Cheltenham - January 29 2022
Cheltenham 12:45
Chester Williams

Interne De Sivola

J: Chester Williams
T: Nick Williams
Age: 4
Weight: 11-3
OR: 131
Days: 49

The only course and distance winner in the field is Nick Williams’ Interne De Sivola. Last seen winning over track and trip in a juvenile hurdle in December.

The gelding bounced out in front and set some steady fractions before kicking away from the field 2 out.
He may have had something of a soft lead but he still managed to overcome a poor jump at the last to keep on smartly to a comfortable victory.

Beaten into 3rd on his hurdle debut behind the previous leading fancy in the Triumph hurdle In This World, Interne De Sivola made a few mistakes again jumping and wilted behind the impressive Skelton winner.

With a couple of runs under his belt, his jumping has hopefully improved but the other runners are unlikely to give him such an easy time up front again.

Cheltenham - January 29 2022
Cheltenham 12:45
David Noonan


J: David Noonan
T: Nigel Hawke
Age: 4
Weight: 11-0
OR: 111
Days: 31

An incredibly experienced 4 year old for Nigel Hawke. Originally trained by Edna Bolger, the Irish trainer ran the horse as a 3 year old on the flat several times but he failed to break his maiden despite having 6 outings in the other code.

He’s also already notched up 5 runs over timber already. Narrowly coming 2nd on his debut at Worcester back in September.

Given some time off, he put in a poor performance when only coming 5th in a poor race over at Ludlow where he maybe did too much out in front to have any real finishing power.

He’s since left that poor run behind and made a good impression when showing superior stamina to score at Fontwell under David Noonan.

He failed to defy his penalty at the same course as his success when again maybe doing too much out in front to see out his race properly but he finished a clear 2nd.

Last seen being beaten in handicap company against experienced rivals, he showed the same tendency to over race out in front.

If he gets some cover in front he could be competitive but left to his own devices out in front he tends to ruin his own chances.

Cheltenham - January 29 2022
Cheltenham 12:45
Tom Cannon

Forever William

J: Tom Cannon
T: Alan King
Age: 4
Weight: 11-0
OR: 125
Days: 33

Alan King is one of the best dual purpose trainers around and has converted this flat stayer into a smart looking juvenile hurdler.

Forever William started his campaign this season on the flat with a couple of outings to give him some race fitness but in 2 outings he still remained a maiden on the flat.

Switched to hurdles in mid November, Forever William made the perfect start to life as a national hunt horse when winning at Newbury handily. Tracking the pace, he easily kicked clear before the last flight and had subsequent winner DR T J Eckleburg behind him.

With a win in the books, King moved his charge right up in grade immediately as he contested the grade 1 juvenile hurdle at Chepstow just 2 weeks after his initial win.

He ran well to be 3rd and maybe wasn’t suited by omitted hurdles late on making the race more of a test of flat pace than jumping ability.

Dropping in grade will help him and he’s a nicely experienced sort. Time to freshen up could see him go well.

Cheltenham - January 29 2022
Cheltenham 12:45
Jonathan Burke

Moka De Vassy

J: Jonathan Burke
T: Mrs Jane Williams
Age: 4
Weight: 11-0
Days: 45

Still a maiden for Jane Williams, Moka De Vassey has only been seen twice on a racecourse and looks to have plenty on his plate to be getting competitive here.

Sent off a short priced favourite for his first run over hurdles at Ffos Las back in October, the gelding failed to justify any market support and wilted back into 6th. Being beaten a hefty 41 lengths.

He was last seen running in the same race as Forever William at Newbury. He certainly made a better impression than on his first start. Seemingly tapped for toe, he ran on smartly late on.

Softer ground and a stiffer course will likely bring out the best in him but he might not get the required rain here.
He looks unlikely to reverse the form with Forever William.


Andy Smith | @AndySmithRacing