The Triumph Hurdle, the Championship for juvenile hurdlers, opens Gold Cup day, and is usually a fascinating betting heat- we tend to know less about the field here than we do in any other Festival race. Could we have seen a potential superstar lurking in this division already, or is there a monster yet to be unleashed?
Many people will cast their minds back to last year’s race in which GOSHEN looked to absolutely bolt up before falling foul at the last.
This year, however, looks to be a lot more competitive on paper.
ZANAHIYR is the leading juvenile this year with a Grade Three & Grade Two to his name. The ex Aga Khan owned Juvenile was thrilling in November when beating SAINT SAM (2nd in Boodles Juvenile on Tuesday) by fourteen lengths. He quickened up impressively after jumping the second last and zipped clear.
His win in the Knight Frank Juvenile last time wasn’t as impressive on paper but re-watching the race visually it was.
They went a slow gallop that day and he quickened nicely to put some nice Irish horses away.
He has been impressive in all his starts, but I feel he’s beatable.
TRITONIC is one of the highest rated horses this season to go jumping with an impressive rating of 99 on the flat. Bought by the McNeill Family originally to go hurdling, it came as a surprise to them that he would be so good on flat. On his hurdling debut he was workman-like in beating CASA LOUPI by one length.
His jumping was poor on that occasion, but his stamina helped claw in the leaders to win a shade snugly.
His Adonis Hurdle win was most impressive beating the same horse of Gary Moore’s again but by ten lengths this time. On a track like Kempton that is sharp and not likely to suit he blitzed away from his rivals once jumping the last.
His jumping had improved but he still made a slight error. Winners of the Adonis don’t really have a particularly good record when going to the Triumph after it.
SOLO, REDICEAN, MASTER BLUEEYES, ZUBAYR and BELTOR are just a few examples in recent years of disappointments, and you have to go back to 2011 to see a winner come from that race. However, I feel TRITONIC is a completely different type of horse to others that have failed.
With strong form on the flat and stamina in an abundance at this level I think he will take all the beating.
TAX FOR MAX is a horse certainly of interest here given the amount of credit he got after finishing second behind TEAHUPPO last time.
Far too keen and clearly looking like a nutter he looked to challenge the odds-on favourite late on but emptied quickly. This German recruit looked to have a load of ability and, as still an entire, is a fascinating quantity that we certainly haven’t seen the best of him yet.
This race looks a fascinating prospect but I’m going to side with TRITONIC.
This captivating four-year-old brings excellent form from the flat and impressive form over hurdles and I think he can improve past the favourite.
TAX FOR MAX is one not to be taken lightly at a bigger price especially if he’s more streetwise this time.