JCB Triumph Hurdle - Friday March 18th 2011 

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Zarkandar Triumphs for Nicholls

1 Zarkandar 13/2
2 Unaccompanied 11/2
3 Grandouet 13/2
4 Sam Winner
23 ran Distances: 2¼l, 2¾l, nk
TIME 3m 54.20s (fast by 1.80s)

Paul Nicholls called Zarkandar “our little Hurricane Fly” after the Aga Khan-bred gelding stormed to victory in the Grade One JCB Triumph Hurdle, handing jockey Daryl Jacob a first Festival success.

© Racehorse Photos


The Azamour gelding, a half-brother to the outstanding Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe heroine Zarkava, had raced only once previously over hurdles, winning well at Kempton just 20 days ago but impressed with a two and a quarter-length success over runner-up Unaccompanied at odds of 13/2.

A delighted Nicholls revealed: “I schooled him 10 days ago and I was so excited the way he had improved with his jumping and everything, and I knew he’d like better ground, but then you look at it and think well he’s only had one run. But we’d done enough with him and he obviously has that bit of class. Give him a summer and he could be anything.

“He’d been going well at home, he’d been gelded and took a bit of time to get over that and I just thought he might run well at Kempton, finish third or fourth and I’d put him away for next year. It just astounded me the amount he improved from that run.

“He’s obviously very good and we always thought he’d like better ground, until they do you don’t know. Today he just travelled supremely, he’s jumped and just picked them up the minute he wanted to. He’s our little Hurricane Fly.”

Zarkandar’s stablemate Sam Winner, the mount of Ruby Walsh was sent off the 4/1 favourite and stayed on late to grab fourth. The first four in the betting occupied the first four places.

Nicholls continued: “Ruby didn’t choose Sam Winner. He’s always liked Sam Winner, he thinks he’s great, and he’s run a blinder to finish fourth. Daryl was on the winner when Ruby was off and I wasn’t going to swap him. It was daft changing it and Ruby never asked me if he could get on this horse -he just left it to me.

“It’s great for Daryl because he’s had a frustrating time. To give him his first (Festival) winner, he’s a good part of the team, I’m delighted for him.

“I’m delighted for Chris (Giles) and Jared (Sullivan) who I persuaded to buy him. When I saw him at the Aga’s I just loved him. He was almost unmanageable, very colty. They had run him in blinkers three times on the flat not because he was ungenuine, just to get him manageable. I got him home, gelded him, and he’s mentally just turned inside out.

“It wasn’t at the sales, we bought him privately through Anthony (Bromley) and then had to find an owner for him. Two or three turned him down and I was at Ascot one day having lunch with Chris and Jared and I said I’ve just bought you a horse and they agreed to have him.

“I don’t know what we’ll do with him but I think he’ll be quite a smart horse next year and I want to look after him.”

Daryl Jacob was thrilled to land his first Festival success aboard Zarkandar.

He commented: “He’s a lovely horse, he won well at Kempton last time and he’s better on the better ground. I got a dream run all the way and he finished the race nicely.

“Paul has always been very good to me and so has my boss, Nick Williams. They’ve given me good ammunition to come to war with this week. We’ve hit the crossbar a few times so it’s nice to get a winner on the board, it’s a big relief. Every jockey dreams about getting winners here.”


Starting Price
Beaten Distance
P F Nicholls
D Jacob
11st 0lbs
13 - 2
D K Weld
P Townend
10st 7lbs
11 - 2
2 1/4 lengths
N J Henderson
B J Geraghty
11st 0lbs
13 - 2
2 3/4 lengths
Sam Winner
P F Nicholls
R Walsh
11st 0lbs
4 - 1
Sir Pitt
Mrs A M Thorpe
Donal Fahy
11st 0lbs
200 - 1
2 1/2 lengths
Sailors Warn
E J O'Grady
Andrew J McNamara
11st 0lbs
33 - 1
1 1/2 length
Third Intention
C L Tizzard
J Tizzard
11st 0lbs
11 - 1
1/2 length
Local Hero
S Gollings
R P Flint
11st 0lbs
20 - 1
1/2 length
P F Nicholls
Harry Skelton
11st 0lbs
20 - 1
1/2 length
Smad Place
A King
R Thornton
11st 0lbs
11 - 1
R Rowe
L Aspell
11st 0lbs
100 - 1
1 1/2 length
Mrs A M Thorpe
J M Maguire
11st 0lbs
125 - 1
3 1/4 lengths
Walter De La Mare
J J Murphy
R M Power
11st 0lbs
200 - 1
3 3/4 lengths
N J Henderson
A Tinkler
11st 0lbs
16 - 1
3 1/4 lengths
First Fandango
Tim Vaughan
S Thomas
11st 0lbs
50 - 1
2 3/4 lengths
Houblon Des Obeaux
Miss V Williams
A Coleman
11st 0lbs
22 - 1
1 3/4 length
High Ransom
Micky Hammond
F Keniry
10st 7lbs
125 - 1
9 lengths
M F Morris
D N Russell
11st 0lbs
80 - 1
10 lengths
Tim Vaughan
R Johnson
11st 0lbs
40 - 1
1 length
Trop Fort
D Pipe
T Scudamore
11st 0lbs
50 - 1
3 1/4 lengths
Unseated Rider
Mister Carter
T Stack
W J Lee
11st 0lbs
50 - 1
Pulled Up
New Den
J R Boyle
C I Gillies
11st 0lbs
250 - 1
Pulled Up
A Media Luz
N J Henderson
A P McCoy
10st 7lbs
12 - 1



Unaccompanied is set to have her next start on the Flat after going down by two and a quarter lengths to Zarkandar in the JCB Triumph Hurdle.

“She got a bit squeezed by the winner going to the last but that was a wonderful,” said the filly’s trainer Dermot Weld. “She’s still inexperienced and Paul (Townend) got a bit left behind early on and we really wanted to win today for her owner, Eva-Marie Haefner.

“She’ll go next to the Listed Salsabil Stakes over a mile and a quarter at Navan and, as long as the ground is soft enough, on to Punchestown for the Grade One four-year-old hurdle.

“She loves soft ground so we’ll leave her off for the summer. You haven’t seen the best of her yet, she’s very good and improving all the time. I see her as a very high-class prospect for next season.”

Barry Geraghty, rider of third-placed Grandouet said: “I’m pleased with him, he ran a really great race but he just couldn’t quicken with the winner.”

Ruby Walsh, aboard the favourite Sam Winner, who finished fourth, said: “He got completely outpaced but then just stayed on really well.”


Previous results - JCB TRIUMPH HURDLE

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)

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

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

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