Cheltenham - At The Races

13:30 Cheltenham 16 Mar 2018

JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1) (Class 1) (4YO only)

Winner £71,188 - 9 ran


2m 179y

Soft (Heavy in places)

View Course Guide

Weighed In

Last year’s race

Defi Du Seuil
  • Winner: Defi Du Seuil
  • Jockey: R Johnson
  • Trainer: P J Hobbs
  • Owner: Mr John P McManus
  • Age: 4 Weight: 11st 0lb
  • Starting Price: 5/2f
  • Season Form Figures: 11
  • Previous Best: 1st - Finale Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 1), Chepstow (Dec 2016)

There can be no question that this is a different race now than before the introduction of the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle in 2005 so it is a case of concentrating on the stronger patterns since that handicap’s inception.

Since the Fred Winter became part of the Festival, 11 of the 13 Triumph winners could be found in the first four in the betting. A fairly recent run is of importance as Zaynar’s absence of 55 days is the longest a Triumph winner has been off the course since Duke Of Monmouth defied a 78-day absence in 1992. French imports have won five of the last nine runnings.

The Adonis Hurdle and the Spring Juvenile Hurdle have provided the Triumph Hurdle winner between them on ten occasions in the last 18 years. Mr Adjudicator beat Farclas into second in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle, a race that has featured four of the last six Triumph winners. Supporters of the runner-up should not give up hope however as three of those four winners were beaten in this trial and Farclas may be the stronger stayer of the pair, and the Triumph is run over 1f further and over a stiffer track. Five of the last 18 Adonis winners then added the Triumph.

Since the Fred Winter became part of the Festival, 11 of the 13 Triumph winners could be found in the first four in the betting.

The Finesse Hurdle at Cheltenham on Trials Day, won this season by Apple’s Shakira, struggled for a long time but Katchit, Peace And Co and Defi Du Seuil added the Triumph after proving successful there in more recent years. Three winners secured a Newbury victory earlier in the season going back to 2006. Alongside the Grade 1 Finale Hurdle winner, We Have A Dream, she will be bidding to give Nicky Henderson a seventh Triumph winner. Paul Nicholls has won the Triumph twice, both with Flat breds. Alan King has saddled two winners, two seconds and two thirds in the last 11 runnings.

Five of the last 11 winners were officially top rated by the BHA of which three were not sent off favourite. An official rating of 140 is a pretty good cut off point. Regards ratings from the Flat, only the 67-Flat rated Spectroscope has won for horses rated lower than 80 in Britain or Ireland since 1996. Not all winners have run on the Flat as Katarino, Upgrade and Tiger Roll were sent straight over hurdles (the former had even run in a chase) and Soldatino and Defi Du Seuil started their careers in French bumpers, but if you fancy an ex-Flat horse, then make sure it has the right stamina credentials. Prior to Our Conor’s demolition job five years ago, the previous 14 winners that had raced on the Flat had all run over at least 1m4f.

The Irish were dominant two years ago posting a 1-2-3-4 continuing their good recent run following wins for Our Conor and Tiger Roll in two of the previous three seasons that followed an 11-year drought. They also supplied the second, third, fourth and fifth last season.

If you had told me back before the 2008 running that four of the next eight winners would have won just once over timber beforehand then I would have struggled to take you seriously. Between 1993-2007 only one of the 14 winners had not won at least twice earlier in the season. With Triumph winners embarking on their hurdling debut later in the season these days, this places a restriction on the amount of hurdling experience they are likely to amass meaning that more lightly-raced types over timber are winning on a regular basis.

At a glance summary

First four in the betting
The Adonis Juvenile Hurdle winner
Contested the Spring Juvenile Hurdle
Trained in Ireland, by Nicky Henderson or Alan King
Officially rated below 80 on the Flat
Not raced at over at least 12f if ran on the Flat
Off the track for over eight weeks
Rated below 140 on BHA hurdling figures

Previous Winners
Year Going Ran Winner Draw Age Weight OR Form Last run Trainer (Distance) Jockey SP Time
2017 Good 15 Defi Du Seuil 4 11 0 - 111111 48 days P Hobbs (90 miles) R Johnson 5/2 4:00.20
2016 Good 15 Ivanovich Gorbatov 4 11 0 - 3-1114 41 days A P O'Brien B J Geraghty 9/2 3:55.10
2015 Soft 16 Peace And Co 4 11 0 - 111 48 days N Henderson (51 miles) B J Geraghty 2/1 4:40.40
2014 Good 15 Tiger Roll 4 11 0 - 12 33 days G Elliott D N Russell 10/1 4:01.10
2013 Good to Soft 17 Our Conor 4 11 0 - 323111 34 days D T Hughes B J Cooper 4/1 4:11.10
2012 Good 20 Countrywide Flame 4 11 0 - 112123 33 days J J Quinn (194 miles) D Costello 33/1 3:58.80
2011 Good 23 Zarkandar 4 11 0 - 1231 20 days P Nicholls (69 miles) D Jacob 13/2 3:54.20
2010 Good 19 Soldatino 4 11 0 - 11 20 days N Henderson (51 miles) B J Geraghty 6/1 4:04.90
2009 Good to Soft 18 Zaynar 4 11 0 - 92211 55 days N Henderson (51 miles) B J Geraghty 11/2 4:03.90
2008 Good to Soft 14 Celestial Halo 4 11 0 - 002712 41 days P Nicholls (69 miles) R Walsh 5/1 4:07.83