Triumph Trial Betting Tips: Juveniles Stake Festival Claims
The Triumph Trial Hurdle betting tells the tail of how open the markets are for the main event, set to take place on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival itself.
A dry winter and a recent trend for trainers to save their best for last in the juvenile division means that the Triumph Hurdle is currently one of the most open betting races of the whole Festival.
So this renewal of the Finesse Juvenile Hurdle – also known as the Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle – ought to tell us a great deal about the pecking order with just weeks until the big day.
How good is it as a trial?
Three Triumph Hurdle winners previously won the Triumph Trial- Katchit in 2007, Peace And Co in 2015, and Defi Du Seuil in 2017 - and two went on to be placed in the Festival Grade 1 - Kentucky Hyden (2014) and Walkon (2009).
However, the race does not solely produce Triumph Hurdle winners, Hors La Loi III winning the Supreme Novices' Hurdle on his next run, for example, and the ill-fated Jair Du Cochet graduating to win the Cotswold Chase on the same card, three years later
The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Torpillo (2/1 888 Sport) won in France at Nancy in April, cantering all over his rivals when making a winning British debut by 23 lengths at Sandown in December.
He did the same on Tolworth Hurdle day at the same track when thrashing fellow French import Fukuto by 22 lengths. Those performances were taking, although it will be fascinating to see how he copes with a rise in class on much quicker ground, as he has been a remorseless stayer so far.
Adjali (2/1 Black Typee), also owned by Simor Munir and Isaac Souede, but trained by Nicky Henderson, sets a good standard on the basis of his neck second in the Grade 1 Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow, when just beaten by the dual Grade 2 winner Quel Destin.
A strong stayer as judged by his finishing effort there, Cheltenham ought to suit the Market Rasen winner and one of the best newer bookmakers Black Type are biggest about his chances, offering 2/1.
Who are the other contenders?
Ladbrokes offer 5/1 about Our Power, who was impressive when giving a six-length beating to Nicky Henderson’s Style De Vole. He made the best of his way home early that day and was much improved on his second at Exeter in November. He has to be seen as a big threat, with Cheltenham looking as if it will suit him.
Protekorat was fancied to take a C&D contest in December but unseated early. He had been brought to Dan Skelton’s yard after finishing second in a Listed race at Auteuil. The fact he went off 5/2 there suggests he is fancied to be a decent horse in time and we’ll learn an awful lot about him on Saturday. It will be interesting to see if a current price of 7/1 with William Hill contracts before raceday.
An Irish Bet?
Irish-trained horses have won four of the last five Triumph Hurdles, but rarely travel to Cheltenham before the Festival with juveniles, and have their own Grade 1 juvenile hurdle at Leopardstown next weekend to utilise.
Having said that, there are six entries, all trained by Triumph Hurdle-winning trainers Gordon Elliott and Joseph O'Brien (whose father Aidan held his training license when he won with Ivanovich Gorbatov).
Gordon Elliot’s Chief Justice catches the eye at 12/1 with Betfair. He’s had a lot of racing but did take a Grade 2 at Fairyhouse in December and was second at the Leopardstown Christmas Festival.
However, Fakir D’oudairies (14/1 BetVictor), looks a better bet from the Irish contingent. Formerly trained by Guy Cherel, he didn’t cut much ice in France, but looked very useful on his hurdling debut at Cork earlier this month, comfortably beating a fellow jumping debutant, who hailed from the Willie Mullins stable.
The Best Bet:
Nelson River (10/1 Coral) took a big step up from his debut at Bangor when he won over course and distance in December. He was in receipt of weight from second Fanfan Du Seuil, but that form still reads very well, given that he beat this weekend's 5/1 shot Our Power by five lengths at Exeter just over a month beforehand.
Nelson River had improved greatly on the flat when stepped up in trip and it is also notable that he did all his best work after jumping the last two, eventually scoring with a little bit more in hand than the winning margin of a length.
With this field potentially bigger, he might well get a stronger pace to run at, and at 10/1 with Coral he looks to be good each-way value at this stage.
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