1st (11) Katchit 11-2
Katchit Speeds Home in the Triumph 16/03/07
Trainer Alan King and jockey Robert Thornton had their third success
of the 2007 Festival when Katchit ran away with the JCB Triumph Hurdle
by nine lengths.
“We’d have settled for one winner at the start of this week,” admitted King. “Choc said on Monday morning, if one of these big four can win, we'll be very happy. For three of them to come in is just something else. And to do it so well - my God he was impressive! It doesn’t get any better - I may retire now!
“Choc said all season he would be a much better horse when the
ground dries up. This is my lucky suit - and I first wore it on Tuesday!
David Nicholson would have been so proud.
“Katchit was awfully impressive and straightforward, he can win
round Market Rasen or wherever. He’s very adaptable. We had thought
of going for the Adonis but instead came here in January then gave him
a two-week break, it’s all gone like clockwork.
“He always travelled, jumped great and is better on this ground.
Choc said he got there too early but still quickened away.
“We’ll look at Aintree and probably give him an entry for Punchestown and I had been worried about next season because of his size. But I’m not so worried now.”
Thornton - now the Festival’s leading rider - added: “What a star! He's shocked me again - I thought he might improve for better ground but he certainly has. I've got there a shade too soon and thought I may as well kick on. I was just thinking going to the last, where are they all? He's a little legend and loves his jumping."
HOBBS ACCEPTS RUNNER-UP ROLE
After Liberate beat all bar the Alan King-trained Katchit in the leading
juvenile race of the season, Philip Hobbs said: “I’m very
pleased with that - it’s always frustrating to be second, especially
to Alan King yet again, but nevertheless our horse has run very well
“He’s very genuine, tries very hard and jumps well. He’s
a lovely horse and Richard [Johnson] feels he’ll improve when racing
on even better ground. Obviously racecourses water very well these days
so it’s going to be difficult, but I would think we’ll go
to Aintree, and because he’s so tough we might go to Punchestown
“That’s the first competitive race he’s had, so he might learn from that, but whether we can close the gap on the winner is another thing.”
LOUNAOS ANOTHER DISAPPOINTING “JOLLY”
Only one filly - Snow Drop - has managed to win the JCB Triumph Hurdle
in the last decade, and the race proved a bridge too far for the Irish-trained
7-2 favourite Lounaos, who trailed in only 10th.
Barry Geraghty, who rode Lounaos, the Irish Champion Hurdle fourth,
said:”It is a tough race for a filly, and they went off very quick.
“She kept on battling, but she could not sustain that gallop all the way, and we were beaten before the straight.”
JCB TRIUMPH HURDLE FACTS AND FIGURES
1. The JCB Triumph Hurdle was formerly run at Hurst Park and transferred
to Cheltenham in 1965 on the closure of the London course.
2. JCB, which supports the contest for the sixth time this year, is only the race’s third sponsor. The Elite Racing Club was due to back the race for a fifth time in 2001 when The Festival was cancelled, while the Daily Express sponsored from 1965 to 1996. The race was originally run at the April Meeting but was transferred to The Festival in 1968.
3. The JCB Triumph Hurdle has been one of the most competitive races
of The Festival. Last year’s field of 17 was by far the smallest
since Connaught Ranger beat 13 rivals in 1978 - the recent introduction
of the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle has meant that the JCB Triumph
Hurdle now attracts the very best four-year-olds. The race regularly
reached the safety factor, reduced from 28 to 24 in 2004. In fact, the
14 runners in Connaught Ranger's year probably had more to do with the
transfer of the race to April following the abandonment of racing on
Gold Cup day than any loss of its competitive nature. The smallest field
was for its first running at Cheltenham in 1965, when seven runners took
part. The largest field was 31 in 1970.
4. Since the race has been at Cheltenham, there has only once been an
odds-on winner of the Triumph Hurdle. This was Attivo, owned by former
BBC TV commentator Sir Peter O'Sullevan, in 1973 at 4/5. The longest-priced
winners were Baron Blakeney, Shiny Copper and Ikdam at 66/1 in 1981,
1982 and 1989.
5. Two horses have gone on from winning the JCB Triumph Hurdle to victory
in the Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle. Persian War won the Triumph in
1967, and reeled off three Champion Hurdles from 1968-70, while Kribensis
won the Triumph in 1988 and the Champion Hurdle in 1990. Last year’s
winner Detroit City is ante-post favourite for the JCB Triumph Hurdle.
6. The JCB Triumph Hurdle has a good record of home-trained winners.
The French won it on four consecutive occasions at Hurst Park from 1950-53,
again in 1955 and with Snow Drop in 2000. There have only been six Irish
successes (1977,1984,1990, 1993, 1997 and 2002). No trainer has been
able to dominate the race. The late Fred Rimell and Nicky Henderson are
the only trainers to have won it three times.
7. Among jockeys, Jimmy Uttley was successful three times. Fred Winter,
Steve Smith Eccles and Richard Dunwoody had two winners as has current
rider Richard Johnson, but perhaps the most interesting name is that
of Lester Piggott, who won the race on King Charlemagne when run at Hurst
Park in 1954.
8. The fastest time for the winning horse is 3m 51.20s, recorded last
year by Detroit City. The previous best was 3m 52.90s, set by Snow Drop
9. It has a justifiable reputation for being one of the more unpredictable
contests at The Festival - there have been three 66/1 winners and only
eight successful favourites since 1965.
10. It was in the 1981 JCB Triumph Hurdle that Martin Pipe, the 15-time
champion jump trainer who retired at the end of the 2005/06 season, enjoyed
his first Festival success with the 66/1 shot Baron Blakeney.
11. Three fillies have been successful; Snow Drop in 2000, Mysilv in 1994 and Shawiya in 1993.
Previous results JCB TRIUMPH HURDLE
2005-WINNER-PENZANCE 4-11-00 Owner-Elite Racing Club; Trainer-Alan King;
Jockey-Robert Thornton; SP-9/1
2004-WINNER-MADE IN JAPAN 4-11-00 Owner-Terry Evans; Trainer-Philip
Hobbs; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-20/1
2003-WINNER-SPECTROSCOPE 4-11-00 Owner-Gay Smith;
Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-20/1
2002-WINNER-SCOLARDY 4-11-00 Owner-David Flynn; Trainer-Willie Mullins
IRE; Jockey-Charlie Swan; SP-16/1
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
1999-WINNER-KATARINO 4-11-00 Owner-Robert Waley-Cohen; Trainer-Nicky
Henderson; Jockey-Mick Fitzgerald; SP-11/4 Fav
1998-WINNER-UPGRADE 4-11-00 Owner-Matt Archer and Jean Broadhurst; Trainer-Nigel
Twiston-Davies; Jockey-Carl Llewellyn; SP-14/1
1997-WINNER-COMMANCHE COURT 4-11-00 Owner-Dermot Desmond; Trainer-Ted
Walsh IRE; Jockey-Norman Williamson; SP-9/1
1996-WINNER-PADDY’S RETURN 4-11-00 Owner-Paddy O’Donnell;
Trainer-Ferdy Murphy; Jockey-Richard Dunwoody; SP-10/1
JCB TRIUMPH HURDLE ROLL OF HONOUR
Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran
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