JCB Triumph Hurdle 13:30 Cheltenham
Its the final day of the 2012 Cheltenham Festival with the feature race the 15:20 Cheltenham Gold Cup, as Kauto Star and Long Run will once again go head to head at Prestbury Park, with last years winner Long Run set to go off the odds favourite with Paddy Power.
Kicking off Cheltenham Friday, is the JCB Triumph Hurdle, where Baby Mix, Grumeti and Pearl Swan line up as favourites.
There seems a trend developing recently that horses that lack experience have held sway in the Triumph Hurdle. Take for example last year’s winner Zarkandar, who became the first horse in 47 years to win off the back of just one run over hurdles.
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The Paul Nicholls team are responsible for saddling Dodging Bullets this season, who finished a staying on second behind ante-post favourite Grumeti at Kempton on his debut. He should be best watched around the 18/1 mark.
This inexperienced trend also bodes well for the relatively inexperienced Sadler’s Risk as three of the last four winners had run no more than twice over hurdles. Searching for a last time out winner also looks to be the way to go in this usually helter skelter-like race as 16 of the last 18 winners recorded a victory on their last start – this will be music to the ears to backers of Grumeti, Baby Mix and Balder Sucess.
A recent run over the sticks also looks to be a trait to have in your chosen runner as only Katchit has won this race in the last eight years without a run before December.
Anyone looking to back the supposed Paul Nicholls’ first string, Pearl Swan, who will be ridden by Ruby Walsh, should know that 17 of the last 19 horses have all had their prep race in February while Pearl Swan win at Cheltenham came in late January.
Supporters of the Alan King-trained Grumeti will be fully aware that by winning the Adonis Hurdle at Kempton Park he bids to become the sixth horse to try and achieve the Adonis-Triumph double.
Other stats to take note of are that from 50 runners, Ireland have yet to have a winner in this race and the last seven winners could be found in the top four in the betting.