JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial
(Registered As The Finesse Juvenile Hurdle)
Grade 2, Cheltenham 12:40
£32,000 added, 4yo only,
2m 1f, Class 1  
Saturday 27th January 2018

1 Apple's Shakira 1/7F
2 Look My Way 5/1
3 Ulysses 100/1
6 ran Distances: 8l, 13l, 8l
Time: 4m 26.20s (slow by 32.20s)

Apple's Shakira

Apple's Shakira
Apple's Shakira (Nicky Henderson/Barry Geraghty) maintained her unbeaten record, consolidating her position as ante-post favourite at around 7/2 for the G1 JCB Triumph Hurdle on the final day of The Festival, March 16.
The four-year-old, a winner on her hurdles' debut in France, has now enjoyed three impressive victories in Britain, all at Cheltenham.
The filly travelled strongly throughout the race, racing a bit keenly initially as Barry Geraghty held her up as fourth of the six runners. 
Northern challenger Look My Way (John Quinn/Tom Scudamore, 5/1), who took up the running before three out, made a race of it when kicked for home coming down the hill.
He established a clear lead, but then Apple's Shikara gave chase and closed approaching the last hurdle.
Apple's Shikira led half-way up the run-in and went away to score by eight lengths from Look My Way, with another 13 lengths back to the third Ulysses (Barry Brennan/Harry Cobden, 100/1).
Nicky Henderson, enjoying the first leg of a Cheltenham double, commented afterwards: "Barry said at the last meeting that he would love to get her on some better ground on which she would be miles better, but unfortunately I suspect we have run her on worse ground today. 
"She is so lazy at home - she is amazing - she will not show you anything. They tell me that Apple's Jade does not do much either. She is always having a buck and a squeal but when she does some work you wonder how she ever won a race. But she comes out on the racecourse and does it.
"But her jumping is unbelievable - very slick - and she is very solid at it. She gets through the air very quickly. 
"She had to do a bit of work there. We had to get out and race today, but she won't run again before The Festival. Job done and there we go. I am thinking about the JCB Triumph Hurdle.
"I thought they went a reasonably strong gallop. Barry had something to aim at and she went away well. She stays well, gallops on well and I think that she will be better on better ground. 
"You can't wait forever and we are going to have to run some of these horses on the ground today. It will be the same next weekend and the weekend after - we will have to keep going."
Barry Geraghty declared: "It's tough work out there. 
"Apple's Shakira has jumped great and settled better today. She ran with the choke out a little last time and she still travelled strongly today but in a way that you like a good horse to travel. 
"She is up for it - she's got pace, a good appetite and jumped great. I was always trying to switch her off and I had to switch her back on but she did it at the death and pulled away in the end. 
"She is fairly straightforward and the way she jumped the third-last tells you that she had loads left in the tank. There is a lot to like about her. 
"They are workmanlike conditions out there and I think better ground will only help her. She is a classy type."
The official going was changed after the first race to Soft, Heavy in places from Soft after steady rain most of the morning and afternoon.

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JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial
(Registered As The Finesse Juvenile Hurdle) (Grade 2)
£32,000 added, 4yo only, 2m 179y, Class 1
6 ran
Going: Soft

Pos D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Apple's Shakira (FR) 1/7f B J Geraghty
N J Henderson 4
2nd 8 Look My Way 5/1 T Scudamore
J J Quinn 4
3rd 13 Ulysses (GER) 100/1 Harry Cobden
F Brennan 4
4th 8 Broughtons Admiral 50/1 Lee Edwards
A Ralph 4
5th 12 Erick Le Rouge (FR) 25/1 Lizzie Kelly
Nick Williams 4
6th 46 Elixir De Nutz (FR) 10/1 R Johnson
P J Hobbs 4

Year Horse Owner Trainer Weight Jockey SP

1990 Sayyure Brian Lovrey Nigel Tinkler 11-08 Graham McCourt 3/1
1991 Hopscotch Pipe Scudamore Racing Martin Pipe 11-02 Peter Scudamore 8/11 f
1992 Abandoned
1993 Major Bugler Colin Buckle Toby Balding 11-00 Adrian Maguire 13/2
1994 Pridwell Pond House Racing Martin Pipe 11-00 Richard Dunwoody 3/1
1995 Brave Tornado Bridget Swire Toby Balding 11-04 AP McCoy 7/2
1996 Abandoned
1997 Shooting Light John Brown Pat Murphy 11-00 Richard Dunwoody 10/11 f
1998 Zafarabad Elaine Baines David Nicholson 11-00 Richard Johnson 1/3 f
1999 Hors La Loi III John Martin Francois Doumen FR 11-08 Thierry Doumen 5/2
2000 Mister Banjo Million In Mind P’ship Nicky Henderson 11-08 Mick Fitzgerald 2/7 f
2001 Jair Du Cochet Miriam Montauban Guillaume Macaire FR 11-08 Jacques Ricou Evens f
2002 Vol Solitaire Barry Marshall Paul Nicholls 11-00 Joe Tizzard 11/1
2003 Moneytrain Tina Hamann Christian Von Der Recke GER 11-00 Robert Thornton 25/1
2004 Mondul Let’s Live Racing Milton Harris 11-08 Ollie McPhail 11/2
2005 Akilak Ada Partnership Howard Johnson 11-00 Graham Lee 50/1
2006 Abandoned
2007 Katchit D S J P Syndicate Alan King 11-07 Robert Thornton 2/1 f
2008 Franchoek J P McManus Alan King 11-07 Robert Thornton 10/11 f
2009 Walkon McNeill Racing Alan King 11-07 Robert Thornton 6/5 f
2010 Baccalaureate The Yes No Wait Sorries Nigel Twiston-Davies 11-00 Paddy Brennan 100/1
2011 Local Hero Phil Martin Steve Gollings 11-04 Tony McCoy 15/8 f
2012 Grumeti* The McNeill Family Alan King 11-04 Wayne Hutchinson 7/4 jf
2013 Rolling Star Michael Buckley & Vestey Family Nicky Henderson 11-07 Barry Geraghty 5/2
2014 Le Rocher John White & Anne Underhill Nick Williams 11-07 Richard Johnson 2/1
2015 Peace And Co Simon Munir & Isaac Souede Nicky Henderson 11-07 Barry Geraghty 4/9 f
2016 Protek Des Flos Potensis Bloodstock Ltd Nicky Henderson 11-00 Noel Fehily 25/1
2017 Defi Du Seuil J P McManus Philip Hobbs 11-07 Barry Geraghty 1/5 f