JCB Triumph Hurdle
2m 1f, Class 1
|Friday 14th March 2014|
Le Rocher Among Triumph Hopefuls
All the leading fancies are among 26 horses in the six-day entries for the £120,000 JCB Triumph Hurdle on the final day of The Festival, Gold Cup Day, Friday, March 14.
Nick Williams' exciting French import Le Rocher has scored at Grade One level at Chepstow and Grade Two level at Cheltenham this season.
Initially campaigned in France, the 2-1 chance put down a marker by taking the Finale Hurdle on December 28 and took another forward step by coming well away from Kentucky Hyden and favourite Vicenzo Mio to win the JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial on January 25 by 10 lengths in the hands of Richard Johnson.
Williams must now consider the Triumph itself and said: "It's not every owners' cup of tea and these owners ran one in the Triumph and it probably wasn't the right horse. I think this one could well be. He's handled the course and won on better ground in France, but no decision has been made."
Guitar Pete gave trainer Dessie Hughes a second successive triumph in the Gala Retail Spring Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown on February 9, following the success of the top-class Our Conor 12 months ago.
Barry Geraghty raced in second for most of the way on the 9-2 shot as Orgilgo Bay led them along, and he took up the running after jumping the second-last flight, soon putting the Grade One race to bed.
Guitar Pete ran on stoutly to beat Tiger Roll comfortably by two and a quarter lengths, with Plinth hard driven to take third place after jumping sketchily, and 9-10 favourite Ivan Grozny a major disappointment in fourth, never having threatened.
Hughes said: "He's very honest and he loves the trip - he just gallops. He will go for the Triumph now he's proved his worth. Our Conor may have had a bit more speed, but this lad jumps well and grinds it out.
"He's done everything right since Christmas. The ground was the only thing, but it didn't seem to bother him. I couldn't ask for more. There were some good horses in there and it was a true-run race."
Geraghty believes Guitar Pete is an ideal type for the Triumph.
He said: "Dessie does a good job with his juveniles and all of his hurdlers. He schools them well and he (Guitar Pete) pinged them down the back, and that's what won it for him.
"You need a real stayer for the Triumph now and he's that."
Trainer Gordon Elliott believes there is more to come from runner-up Tiger Roll.
He said: "I'm very happy with him. If he had jumped the last, he'd have been bang on top of him (Guitar Pete), but probably wouldn't have beat the winner. He's a nice horse and there's a fair bit of improvement in him."
Calipto is safely bound for the JCB Triumph Hurdle after proving to be in a different league to his rivals in his Festival warm-up at Newbury on February 8.
Paul Nicholls' French recruit had impressed on his British debut at the Hennessy meeting and his reputation was undiminished after cruising five lengths clear as 4-6 favourite for the Cash Out Your Saturday Multiples With Betfair Novices' Hurdle.
"He'll go straight for the Triumph. I've had him entered everywhere but I haven't been able to run him. It wasn't ideal in this ground but it was about the last chance to get him out," said the Ditcheat handler.
"He's National Hunt bred, and it's hard for them in the Triumph, but it's the obvious race and then he could have one more run at Auteuil."
Broughton stamped his class on the John Smith's Scottish Triumph Hurdle Trial, at Musselburgh on February 2, for trainer John Ferguson and jockey Denis O'Regan.
The four-year-old won three times on the level for Mark Johnston in 2013, and having been beaten just a head by Fox Norton in the Grade Two Summit Juvenile Hurdle at Doncaster on his jumping bow, it was no surprise to see him sent off the 5-6 favourite for his Scottish assignment.
Clarcam took the field along, but Broughton had far too many gears in the straight and was pushed out with hands and heels to take the prize by five lengths.
O'Regan said: "I was delighted with him. I wasn't sure if the trip would suit, because I think he would prefer a more galloping track. I think if he'd jumped a bit better up the straight at Doncaster he might have won, but he has come on a lot since then.
"You can only beat what's in front of you and we have to hope he is going the right way. On better ground, he could be effective. He's got a great attitude and he could be one of the best four-year-olds we've got. I don't know where we go now. John Ferguson knows more about things like that than I do, so we'll have to see."
Countrywide Flame gave John Quinn one of his biggest wins to date when landing the JCB Triumph Hurdle back in 2012 and, two years on, the Yorkshire-based trainer has two leading chances in Pearl Castle and Rutherglen.
The Paul Gaffney-owned Pearl Castle has enjoyed a good start to his career over obstacles, with two wins and a third from his first three races.
His two victories both came over the same course and distance at Doncaster this year. The first was an eyecatching 16-length demolition of a large field and the second a battling effort with a 7lb penalty.
Quinn said: "He won in spite of things not going right for him at Doncaster (last time) and it was a good performance under a penalty. The ground was quite soft as well, softer than the official going, and if the ground keeps drying this week he'll run really well. If it happened to rain and the ground went soft, I wouldn't run him."
Since joining the yard in early November, the four-year-old Tiger Hill gelding has won all three of his hurdle starts and added an all-weather success at Kempton over two miles last month.
Quinn said: "He's in good form and has been training nicely. He's very tough and the hustle and bustle of the race won't faze him. He's got to improve a bit, but so do a lot of them. I'm very happy with him and I think he'll run well."
Exciting juvenile Activial will skip the JCB Triumph Hurdle and instead wait for next month's Crabbie's Grand National meeting at Aintree.
Runner-up behind leading Triumph candidate Calipto on his British debut at Newbury, the French import oozed class when running away with the Adonis Hurdle at Kempton last month.
Trainer Harry Fry suggested afterwards a trip to the Cheltenham Festival was unlikely and has now confirmed he will not be lining up next Friday.
Fry said: "The weather has helped us make up our minds, but after the Adonis, Noel (Fehily, jockey) and myself thought we should wait for Aintree and that's what we're going to do.
"The race at Aintree (Crabbie's Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle) is a very good race in its own right, it's a Grade One and a good race to target.
"There is less than three weeks between the Triumph and the Aintree race and we'll go there nice and fresh and looking forward to it.
"He came out of Kempton very well and he's a very exciting horse."
JCB Triumph Hurdle (Juvenile Grade 1)
£120,000 added, 4yo only, 2m 1f, Class 1
Good to Soft, Good in Places
|3111||Abbyssial (IRE) 20||4||11-0||W P Mullins|
|006||Achtung 13||4||11-0||Luke Comer|
|121||Activial (FR) 20||4||11-0||H Fry|
|314321||Akdam (IRE) 50||4||11-0||A W Carroll|
|4||Amoruccio (FR) 21||4||11-0||P R Webber|
|113314||Ballyglasheen (IRE) 48||4||11-0||Evan Williams|
|21||Broughton (GER) 40||4||11-0||J P Ferguson|
|211||Calipto (FR) 34||4||11-0||P F Nicholls|
|F0||Cherry Tiger 8||4||11-0||G P Mcpherson|
|221322||Clarcam (FR) 40||4||11-0||G Elliott|
|165||Goodwood Mirage (IRE) 20||4||11-0||Jonjo O'Neill|
|121211||Guitar Pete (IRE) 33||4||11-0||D T Hughes|
|1124||Handiwork 27||4||11-0||S Gollings|
|214||Ivan Grozny (FR) 33||4||11-0||W P Mullins|
|2-41222||Kentucky Hyden (IRE) 48||4||11-0||N J Henderson|
|F-11011||Le Rocher (FR) 48||4||11-0||Nick Williams|
|2121||Lindenhurst (IRE) 160||4||11-0||John C McConnell|
|1222||Noble Inn (FR) 50||4||11-0||W P Mullins|
|311||Pearl Castle (IRE) 23||4||11-0||J J Quinn|
|13||Plinth (IRE) 33||4||11-0||A P O'Brien|
|1113||Royal Irish Hussar (IRE) 90||4||11-0||N J Henderson|
|111||Rutherglen 72||4||11-0||J J Quinn|
|12||Tiger Roll (IRE) 33||4||11-0||G Elliott|
|0-6312||Adriana Des Mottes (FR) 20||4||10-7||W P Mullins|
|4-13311||Gitane Du Berlais (FR) 54||4||10-7||W P Mullins|
|3||Streak 13||4||10-7||Thomas Mullins|
Previous results - JCB TRIUMPH HURDLE
2013-OUR CONOR 4-11-00 Owner-Man About Town Syndicate; Trainer-Dessie Hughes IRE; Jockey-Bryan Cooper; SP-4/1
2ND-Far West 4-11-00 Owner-Axom XXXIX; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-4/1
3RD-Sametegal 4-11-00 Owner-John & Barbara Cotton; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Ryan Mahon; SP-33/1
17 ran, Time-4m 11.10s; Dist-15, 2¼ 5/2 Fav Rolling Star (6th)
2012-COUNTRYWIDE FLAME 4-11-00 Owner-Estio Pinnacle Racing; Trainer-John Quinn; Jockey-Dougie Costello; SP 33/1
2ND-Hisaabaat 4-11-00 Owner-Dr Ronan Lambe/Dominick Glennane; Trainer-Dermot Weld IRE; Jockey-Andrew Lynch; SP-20/1
3RD-Grumeti 4-11-00 Owner-McNeill Family; Trainer-Alan King; Jockey-Robert Thornton; SP-5/1 Fav
20 ran, Time 3m 58.80s; Dist-3, ¾
2011-WINNER-ZARKANDAR 4-11-00 Owner-Potensis Limited & Chris Giles; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Daryl Jacob; SP 13/2
2ND-Unaccompanied 4-10-07 Owner-Moyglare Stud Farm; Trainer-Dermot Weld IRE; Jockey-Paul Townend; SP-11/2 3RD-Grandouet 4-11-00 Owner-Simon Munir; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-13/2
23 ran, Time 3m 54.20s; Dist-21⁄4, 23⁄4 4/1 Fav Sam Winner (4th)
2010-WINNER-SOLDATINO 4-11-00 Owner-Simon Munir; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-6/1 2ND-Barizan 4-11-00 Owner-Peter Conway; Trainer-Evan Williams; Jockey-Tom O’Brien; SP-14/1 3RD-Alaivan 4-11-00 Owner-Thomas Barr; Trainer-Edward O’Grady IRE; Jockey-Andrew McNamara SP-9/2
17 ran, Time-4m 4.90s; Dist-1¼, 7 7/2 Fav Carlito Brigante (4th)
2009-WINNER-ZAYNAR 4-11-00 Owner-Men In Our Position; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-11/2
2ND-Walkon 4-11-00 Owner-McNeill Racing; Trainer-Alan King; Jockey-Robert Thornton; SP-4/1 Fav
3RD-Mourad 4-11-00 Owner-Teahon Consulting Limited; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-14/1
18 ran, Time-4m 3.90s; Dist-¾, 2¾
2008-WINNER-CELESTIAL HALO 4-11-00 Owner-The Stewart Family; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-5/1
2ND-Franchoek 4-11-00 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Alan King; Jockey-Tony McCoy; SP-Evens Fav
3RD-Won In The Dark 4-11-00 Owner- Gerard Crehan; Trainer-Sabrina Harty IRE; Jockey-Andrew McNamara; SP-16/1
14 ran, Time-4m 7.83s; Dist-2¼, 2¼
2007-WINNER-KATCHIT 4-11-00 Owner- DSJP Syndicate; Trainer-Alan King;
Jockey-Robert Thornton; SP-11/2
2ND-Liberate 4-11-00 Owner-Diana Whateley; Trainer-Philip Hobbs; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-12/1
3RD-Mobaasher 4-11-00 Owner-Seasons Holidays; Trainer-Charlie Mann; Jockey-Noel Fehily; SP-33/1
23 ran, Time-3m 54.6s; Dist-9, 1 ¾ 7/2 Fav Lounaos (10th)
CITY 4-11-00 Owner-Terry Warner; Trainer-Philip
Hobbs; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-7/2 Fav
2ND-Fair Along 4-11-00 Owner-Alan Peterson; Trainer-Philip Hobbs; Jockey-Paddy Brennan; SP-25/1
3RD-Blazing Bailey 4-11-00 Owner-Three Line Whip; Trainer-Alan King; Jockey-Robert Thornton; SP-14/1
17 ran, Time-3m 51.20s; Dist-5, 1
2005-WINNER-PENZANCE 4-11-00 Owner-Elite Racing Club; Trainer-Alan King;
Jockey-Robert Thornton; SP-9/1
2ND-Faasel 4-11-00 Owner-Jim Ennis; Trainer-Nicky Richards; Jockey-Tony Dobbin; SP-7/1
3RD-Akilak 4-11-00 Owner-Andrea & Graham Wylie; Trainer-Howard Johnson; Jockey-Graham Lee; SP-7/2 Fav
23 ran, Time-4m 3.60s; Dist-hd, 8
2004-WINNER-MADE IN JAPAN 4-11-00 Owner-Terry Evans; Trainer-Philip
Hobbs; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-20/1
2ND-Chief Yeoman 4-11-00 Owner-B Moore & E C Stephens; Trainer-Venetia Williams; Jockey-Tony Dobbin; SP- 40/1
3RD-Top Strategy 4-11-00 Owner-W J Kane; Trainer-Ted Walsh IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-33/1
23 ran, Time-4m 5.30s; Dist-2, nk 5/1 Fav Trouble At Bay (10th)
2003-WINNER-SPECTROSCOPE 4-11-00 Owner-Gay Smith;
Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-20/1
2ND-Well Chief 4-11-00 Owner-David Johnson; Trainer-Martin Pipe; Jockey-Tony McCoy; SP-7/1
3RD-Golden Cross 4-11-00 Owner-Mrs H Johnson; Trainer-Mick Halford IRE; Jockey-Charlie Swan; SP-11/2 Fav
27 ran, Time-4m 0.30s; Dist-hd, 5
2002-WINNER-SCOLARDY 4-11-00 Owner-David Flynn; Trainer-Willie Mullins
IRE; Jockey-Charlie Swan; SP-16/1
2ND-Newhall 4-10-09 Owner-Helen McParland; Trainer-Francis Flood IRE; Jockey-Fran Flood; SP-8/1
3RD-Diamond Joshua 4-11-00 Owner-Diamond Racing Ltd; Trainer-John Berry; Jockey-Jim Culloty; SP- 66/1
28 ran, Time-4m 7.80s; Dist-11, 3/4 7/1 Fav Giocomo (PU)
2001 Cancelled (Foot and Mouth Disease)
2000-WINNER-SNOW DROP 4-10-09 Owner-John D Martin; Trainer-Francois
Doumen FR; Jockey-Thierry Doumen; SP-7/1 Fav
2ND-Regal Exit 4-11-00 Owner-Brian Buckley; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-20/1
3RD-General Cloney 4-11-00 Owner-John J Brennan; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-20/1
28 ran, Time-3m 52.90s, Dist-2, nk
1999-WINNER-KATARINO 4-11-00 Owner-Robert Waley-Cohen; Trainer-Nicky
Henderson; Jockey-Mick Fitzgerald; SP-11/4 Fav
2ND-Balla Sola 4-11-00 Owner-Top Cat Syndicate; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-16/1
3RD-Afarad 4-11-00 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Christy Roche IRE; Jockey-Charlie Swan; SP-8/1
23 ran, Time-4m 2.4s, Dist-8, 1.5
1998-WINNER-UPGRADE 4-11-00 Owner-Matt Archer and Jean Broadhurst; Trainer-Nigel
Twiston-Davies; Jockey-Carl Llewellyn; SP-14/1
2ND-City Hall 4-11-00 Owner-Rosemary Key & Val Ward; Trainer-Val Ward; Jockey-Robert Thornton; SP-12/1
3RD-Nomadic 4-11-00 Owner-Des Sharkey; Trainer-Noel Meade IRE; Jockey-Richard Dunwoody; SP-14/1
25 ran, Time-3m 57.1s, Dist-1.25, 1.75 10/3 Fav Zafarabad (4th)
1997-WINNER-COMMANCHE COURT 4-11-00 Owner-Dermot Desmond; Trainer-Ted
Walsh IRE; Jockey-Norman Williamson; SP-9/1
2ND-Circus Star 4-11-00 Owner-The Ringmasters; Trainer-David Nicholson; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-40/1
3RD-Shooting Light 4-11-00 Owner-John Brown; Trainer-Pat Murphy; Jockey-Richard Dunwoody; SP-7/1
28 ran, Time-4m 0.2s, Dist-1, 1.25 9/2 Fav White Sea (9th)
1996-WINNER-PADDY’S RETURN 4-11-00 Owner-Paddy O’Donnell;
Trainer-Ferdy Murphy; Jockey-Richard Dunwoody; SP-10/1
2ND-Mistinguett 4-10-09 Owner-John Duggan; Trainer-Nigel Twiston-Davies; Jockey-Carl Llewellyn; SP-14/1
3RD-Hatta Breeze 4-10-09 Owner-Jenny Mould; Trainer-David Nicholson; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-14/1
29 ran, Time-4m 1.4s, Dist originally 4, hd, 1.75
Magical Lady (2nd) disqualified 6/1 Fav Debutante Days (f)
JCB TRIUMPH HURDLE ROLL OF HONOUR
(JCB Triumph Hurdle since 2002, Elite Racing Club Triumph Hurdle from 1997-2000, Daily Express Triumph Hurdle 1965-1996, previously run at Hurst Park. Held at Cheltenham’s April meeting from 1965-67)
Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran
2013 Our Conor 4-11-00 Bryan Cooper Dessie Hughes IRE Man About Town Syndicate 4/1 17
2012 Countrywide Flame 4-11-00 Dougie Costello John Quinn Estio Pinnacle Racing 33/1 20
2011 Zarkandar 4-11-00 Daryl Jacob Paul Nicholls Potensis Limited & Chris Giles 13/2 23
2010 Soldatino 4-11-00 Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson Simon Munir 6/1 17
2009 Zaynar 4-11-00 Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson Men In Our Position 11/2 18
2008 Celestial Halo 4-11-00 Ruby Walsh Paul Nicholls The Stewart Family 5/1 14
2007 Katchit 4-11-00 Robert Thornton Alan King DSJP Syndicate 11/2 23
2006 Detroit City 4-11-00 Richard Johnson Philip Hobbs Terry Warner 7/2F 17
2005 Penzance 4-11-00 Robert Thornton Alan King Elite Racing Club 9/1 23
2004 Made In Japan 4-11-00 Richard Johnson Philip Hobbs Terry Evans 20/1 23
2003 Spectroscope 4-11-00 Barry Geraghty Jonjo O’Neill Gay Smith 20/1 27
2002 Scolardy 4-11-00 Charlie Swan Willie Mullins IRE David Flynn 16/1 28
2001 No Race (Foot and Mouth)
2000 Snow Drop 4-10-09 Thierry Doumen Francois Doumen FR John Martin 7/1F 28
1999 Katarino 4-11-00 Mick Fitzgerald Nicky Henderson Robert Waley-Cohen 11/4F 23
1998 Upgrade 4-11-00 Carl Llewellyn Nigel Twiston-Davies Matt Archer & Jean Broadhurst 14/1 25
1997 Commanche Court 4-11-00 Norman Williamson Ted Walsh IRE Dermot Desmond 9/1 28
1996 Paddy’s Return 4-11-00 Richard Dunwoody Ferdy Murphy Paddy O’Donnell 10/1 29
1995 Kissair 4-11-00 Jonathon Lower Martin Pipe Terry Benson 16/1 26
1994 Mysilv 4-10-09 Adrian Maguire David Nicholson Million In Mind Partnership (3) 2/1F 28
1993 Shawiya 4-10-09 Charlie Swan Michael O'Brien IRE Miss G Maher 12/1 25
1992 Duke Of Monmouth4-11-00 Mark Richards Simon Sherwood Ali Saeed 33/1 30
1991 Oh So Risky 4-11-00 Paul Holley David Elsworth Oh So Risky Syndicate 14/1 27
1990 Rare Holiday 4-11-00 Brendan Sheridan Dermot Weld IRE Dr Michael Smurfit 25/1 30
1989 Ikdam 4-11-00 Nigel Coleman Richard Holder LBI Law (873) Ltd 66/1 27
1988 Kribensis 4-11-00 Richard Dunwoody Michael Stoute Sheikh Mohammed 6/1 26
1987 Alone Success 4-11-00 Steve Smith Eccles Nicky Henderson Sheikh Amin Dahlawi 11/1 29
1986 Solar Cloud 4-11-00 Peter Scudamore David Nicholson Ann McEwen 40/1 28
1985 First Bout 4-11-00 Steve Smith Eccles Nicky Henderson Fahad Al Athel 5/1 27
1984 Northern Game 4-11-00 Tommy Ryan Edward O'Grady IRE Frank Conroy 20/1 30
1983 Saxon Farm 4-11-00 Mark Perrett Stan Mellor A Birchall 12/1 30
1982 Shiny Copper 4-11-00 Allen Webb Dina Smith Doug Tyler 66/1 29
1981 Baron Blakeney 4-11-00 Paul Leach Martin Pipe Wheatley Leisure Ltd 66/1 29
1980 Heighlin 4-11-00 Steve Jobar David Elsworth Woodside Engineers Ltd 40/1 26
1979 Pollardstown 4-11-00 Philip Blacker Stan Mellor Georgina Tulloch 12/1 28
1978 Connaught Ranger 4-11-00 John Burke Fred Rimell Jim McCaughey 25/1 14
1977 Meladon 4-11-00 Tommy Carberry Adrian Maxwell IRE Mrs N Flynn 6/1 30
1976 Peterhof 4-11-00 Jonjo O'Neill Mick Easterby H Gould 10/1 23
1975 Royal Epic 4-11-00 Fred McKenna Vernon Cross Robert Read 20/1 28
1974 Attivo 4-11-00 Robert Hughes Cyril Mitchell Peter O'Sullevan 4/5F 21
1973 Moonlight Bay 4-11-00 Johnnie Haine Ryan Price Meg Mullion 85/40F 18
1972 Zarib 4-11-00 Bill Smith Fred Rimell Mrs A Hornby 16/1 16
1971 Boxer 4-11-03 Jimmy Uttley Ron Smyth Lord Blakenham 100/30JF 18
1970 Varma 4-11-04 Brian Barker Mick Masson Charles Clore 100/7 31
1969 Coral Diver 4-11-04 Terry Biddlecombe Fred Rimell Bryan Jenks 3/1F 26
1968 England’s Glory 4-11-00 Jimmy Uttley Staff Ingham Mrs M Sherman 9/2 16
1967 Persian War 4-11-08 Jimmy Uttley Brian Swift Henry Alper 4/1 13
1966 Black Ice 4-11-04 Bobby Beasley Arthur Thomas A Crowther 9/2 11
1965 Blarney Beacon 4-11-04 Geordie Ramshaw Ron Smyth Freddie Laker 8/1 7