• Hands Heels

Triumph Hurdle (Grade One)

Updated: Apr 30, 2021

13:20 Cheltenham 19/03

The first race on the final day at the festival, the Triumph is usually always an exciting opener, a fast paced juvenile hurdle over just over two miles. Last year Goshen was going to romp home before coming down at the last. Will we have another display so dominant this year? I’m not sure, but there seems to be some very good horses entered. It’s a shame there will be no French Aseel as he was very impressive in his win; but it will still be some spectacle!

The top two in the market are currently joint favourite, Tritonic for Alan King and Zanahiyr now of Denise Foster in place of Gordon Elliott. When Tritonic ran on the flat he was a very decent horse placing at Royal Ascot in a good handicap and runner up in a pair of graded races. Tritonic was a good price at 12/1 for this before winning the Grade Two Adonis last time out. That day he seemed to be in a little in trouble hitting a flat spot heading around the bend but quickened nicely to win convincingly in the end. I think in time he will be better over a bit further than this and if hitting a similar flat spot may not be able to get himself out of trouble in that manner against the quality of opposition here. It’s hard to rate his form as the horse’s he’s beaten aren’t exactly special, although you could argue he is improving beating Casa Loupi by 9 lengths further on that second run.

Zanahiyr looks the stronger of the two on paper, he won his maiden in good style, before stepping up to grade three level and won that in even more taking fashion, a 14 length victory over Saint Sam who is now favourite for the Fred Winter on day one here. That form has also been franked by the third that day, Druid’s Altar has also come out and won a good novice race and is also fancied by some people for the Fred Winter. Subsequently to that he ran in the grade two juvenile at Leopardstown on boxing day, beating the same rivals under a hands and heels ride without really being asked a question. The second then was Busselton who is near the top of the market in the Fred Winter as well. Of the two I think Zanahiyr is the more likely winner.

After him we have French Aseel who unfortunately won’t be going, Quilixios is interesting in this having won the grade one Spring Juvenile last time, with Saint Sam and Busselton in second and third. He is also unbeaten in his career and in the famous Cheveley Park silks has a great chance. I can’t see why he isn’t favourite here, he has done nothing wrong and has won a Grade One which the two ahead of him in the market haven’t done yet. That with the stat that nearly half of the winners of this race have ran in the Spring Juvenile prior to it, entices me to side with him. I’ll be having a one point win bet on him, but it may be wise to take the 6/1 each way as he should at least place!

At bigger prices Duffle Coat has beaten Adagio when they met and is double the price, he may be worth a second look if he runs here. I may have a saver bet on him, especially if any bookies offer extra places on the day.


Quilixios 6/1 1pt win

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