What are the best bets in the Triumph Hurdle?
13:30 JCB Triumph Hurdle, 2m1f
Last year’s 1-2-3: Peace And Co (2/1f), Top Notch (7/1), Hargam (8/1) – 16 ran.
Ivanovich Gorbatov was all the rage in the ante post market after a stylish success at Leopardstown over Christmas, only for the bubble to burst with an odds-on defeat last time in a race won by Footpad. Given that heavy defeat it’s surprising that he’s still vying for favouritism and backers are banking on him improving on the better spring ground – quite likely as a son of Montjeu.
However, there are dangers wherever you look and Paul Nicholls and Willie Mullins train eight between them. Nicholls’ apparent first-string is Zubayr, who galloped to the head of the market with a debut victory in the Adonis Hurdle, used as a prep for the stable’s previous Triumph winner Zarkandar and also Nicky Henderson’s Soldatino. However, there is a slight suspicion that race was set up for him and he’s certainly no value now at just 4/1.
His stablemates Connetable, Frodon and Tommy Silver are a different matter as they can be backed at double-figure odds. The former is the highest rated runner in the field after defeating Kingwell Hurdle winner Rayvin Black and last season’s Triumph winner Peace And Co at Sandown, getting weight admittedly, and his trainer has compared him favourably with the aforementioned Zarkandar. Certainly, he looks a tough staying type who should thrive in this and he gets the vote at bet365’s 12/1, though there’s a strong case for backing him at 10/1 with Sky Bet given they are refunding losing stakes on the race as a free bet (applies to the win part of each-way bets).
Mullins’ big hope looks to be Footpad who has won three out of four for the Closutton team, including the Grade 1 Spring Hurdle last time. His experience will stand him in good stead and he is feared most.
Alan King’s pair of Sceau Royal and Who Dares Wins could also have a say in a wide open renewal.
SELECTION: Connetable each-way @ 10/1 Sky Bet (money back if a loser)