JCB Triumph Hurdle - Friday March 19th 2010 

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Soldatino Swoops to Triumph

1 Soldatino 6/1
2 Barizan 14/1
3 Alaivan 9/2
4 Carlito Brigante 7/2 fav
17 ran



Soldatino foiled a bold front-running attempt by Tom O’Brien and Barizan to take the JCB Triumph Hurdle in the closing stages and give trainer Nicky Henderson a fifth success in the four-year-olds’ championship.

The winner was only bought by owner Simon Munir, through bloodstock agent Anthony Bromley, in January after a success at Pau in France.

“I only bought him at the end of January and it was a job to get him entered for the Triumph because I think he was only registered in this country on the day that entries closed,” said Munir, who now has 10 horses in training and was having his first Festival success.

“You never know how horses from France are going to acclimatise and he was only entered in this race as a precaution. After he won the Adonis Hurdle we decided to come here so I’m glad we entered him.”

Henderson added: “One thing that worried me was whether he had enough experience but I’m thrilled for the horse. He may be a baby but he’s tough.

“You would be worried that he was only a baby and it was a long way to have to go and catch the other horse because the gap was huge. But he does stay and Anthony (Bromley) found him down in Pau in January, so he hasn’t been in England for very long and has very little mileage on the clock. He is an exciting horse.

“Fair play to the second and I nearly felt sorry for him. They went such a gallop for such a long way so it was very tough for a baby to go after him. It was a long way to go on your own to catch the other horse.

“He’s not been in England that long but it seemed through the winter that there wasn’t an outstanding one about and we thought we’d put him in the Adonis Hurdle to have a look.

“He was very babyish and came over with a lot of equipment including earplugs, hoods and special bridles. We left them off initially but after two weeks put them back on. He had the ear plugs in today although you can’t take them out mid-race as they do in France.

“We might send Super Kenny to Aintree but I doubt you’ll be seeing this fellow again this year if I have my way.

“After Binocular (in the Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle) started things well on Tuesday, yesterday was a bit of comedown but this is fantastic.

Winning jockey Barry Geraghty said: “After that bit of rain last night the ground on the hurdle track was very dead and they went very quick.

“The second horse was a mile clear of us at the third last but it was too late to worry about him then, he had to come back to us. He did and I knew jumping the second last that I’d get him. They’re only young but these French horses know the ropes.

“It was a good performance. The second horse went off very quick - I had to drop in and switch off - but he went so quick that he was always going to have to stop. I had the right horse and never panicked and always though I would get him.

“I just had to give him a couple of taps before the last to keep him going forward but I knew that I would get there well enough. It’s a long run down from the second last to home. It’s hard enough to go as quick as he went but it was a good race.“


Starting Price
Beaten Distance
N J Henderson
B J Geraghty
11st 0lbs
6 - 1
Evan Williams
T J O'Brien
11st 0lbs
14 - 1
1 1/4 length
E J O'Grady
A J McNamara
11st 0lbs
9 - 2
7 lengths
Carlito Brigante
G Elliott
D N Russell
11st 0lbs
7 - 2
3 1/4 lengths
Barwell Bridge
W J Greatrex
T J Murphy
11st 0lbs
16 - 1
3 1/4 lengths
Gilded Age
A King
R Thornton
11st 0lbs
28 - 1
3/4 length
Blazing Buck
A W Carroll
Lee Edwards
11st 0lbs
100 - 1
10 lengths
H Morrison
T Scudamore
11st 0lbs
150 - 1
1 3/4 length
T R George
P J Brennan
11st 0lbs
10 - 1
8 lengths
C Byrnes
P Carberry
11st 0lbs
9 - 1
4 lengths
P F Nicholls
R Walsh
11st 0lbs
8 - 1
3/4 length
A W Carroll
A Freeman
11st 0lbs
100 - 1
1/2 length
Blue Nymph
J J Quinn
D C Costello
10st 7lbs
50 - 1
12 lengths
Westlin' Winds
C R Egerton
Mr O Greenall
11st 0lbs
10 - 1
12 lengths
Tim Vaughan
R Johnson
11st 0lbs
40 - 1
Evan Williams
Paul Moloney
11st 0lbs
66 - 1
Pebble In A Pool
A Oliver
D J Condon
10st 7lbs
200 - 1
Non Runner
Bob's Legend
Mrs L C Jewell

11st 0lbs

Non Runner
Secant Star
W P Mullins
Paul Townend
11st 0lbs




A front-running display with the hallmark of Festival folklore was snuffed out in the final 100 yards of the JCB Triumph Hurdle, the Festival’s opening race on totesport Gold Cup day.

Barizan, trained near Cardiff in Wales by Evan Williams, was quickly away as the tapes rose, established a big lead and had his rivals under maximum pressure and still more than 15 lengths in arrears turning for home. From there the leader’s stride began to shorten, and as eventual winner Soldatino cut into the deficit a final-flight blunder sealed Barizan’s fate. He was passed on the run-in but plugged on to finish a gallant second.

Jockey Tom O’Brien said: “The horse came into the race off a break so he was fresh and well, but he lost momentum with the mistake at the last hurdle. I can’t say that cost me the race, but it definitely cost me my momentum.”

Williams was left in that awkward no-man’s land between elation at such a fine effort by his horse, and sadness at defeat.

He said: “It’s disappointing to get gunned down in the final 100 yards, but the winner is obviously a very talented horse. They’ve gone a good gallop and he stretched them - I told Tom to be positive and not worry about what was going on behind. I’m delighted with the way he rode him.

“I suppose if we had been more conservative we might have won, but we’ll never know the answer to that.

“The last-flight mistake didn’t help. He needs good ground and so Aintree is an obvious target and the track should suit.”



Irish handler Edward O’Grady was very satisfied with the performance of Alaivan, who stayed on to take third in the opening race on the final day of The Festival 2010, the Grade One JCB Triumph Hurdle.

The Kalanisi gelding was beaten just over eight lengths and kept on well in the closing stages.

O’Grady said: “He ran a great race and has reversed the form with Carlito Brigante (the 7/2 favourite who finished fourth), which we are delighted about.

“I liked the way he stayed on. I thought he was going to drop back to fourth at one point but then he stayed on again. He is something to look forward to.

“It was a slightly strange race and I wonder what the time was, although I agree with Luca Cumani that the only people really worried about time are behind bars!

“Alaivan could possibly now take the same route as Jumbo Rio did last year and go to France, as he stays well and likes soft ground.”


Previous results - JCB TRIUMPH HURDLE


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)

2006-WINNER-DETROIT 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; Trainer-Jonjo O’Neill; 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 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

2009 Zaynar
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


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 eighth 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. The 2008 field of 14 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. Three 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, Kribensis won the Triumph in 1988 and the Champion Hurdle in 1990 while last year Katchit added a Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle victory to his success in the 2007 JCB Triumph Hurdle.

6. The JCB Triumph Hurdle has a good record for home-trained winners. French-trained raiders 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 and 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 have current riders Richard Johnson and Robert Thornton, 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 in 2006 by Detroit City. The previous best was 3m 52.90s, set by Snow Drop in 2000.

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 after registering 34 wins at The Festival, 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.

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