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Triumph Hurdle 2021

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    Bachelors Hall
    • Total Posts 1478

    With the Triumph Hurdle still 253 days away, it is probably still too early to select the winner with any confidence. Nevertheless, some bookmakers have opened their ante-post markets for the race so it will be interesting to see which horses are on their lists. The market is predominantly headed by horses who have already raced over hurdles in France which would make sense at this time of year. Most of the flat recruits will not become apparent until the autumn and the French recruits do have a fine record in the sphere. Of the 76 horses since 2012/13 to have achieved RPRs of 140 or greater, 33 of them had previous hurdling experience across the channel including the likes of Apple’s Jade, Peace And Co, Top Notch, We Have A Dream and Quel Destin. France has also provided useful sorts from its bumper and flat fields with Defi du Seuil and Farclas collecting Triumph Hurdles after competing in those respective fields. However, neither of those fields are currently represented in the ante-post lists.

    16/1 Paros chg N Henderson 1 run 1 win 0 places
    Masterstroke (Green Tune){16-c}(0.60) 2/1 Softsong 3rd Lstd Hcp Hdl (121), Sandown 2012
    Well backed before the off, Paros was successful in his sole start which came in an ordinary conditions hurdle at Dieppe on the 22nd of May. Making all and jumping nicely, he did not need to be hard ridden to win by two lengths. The runner up has given the form a credible look by twice finishing placed in pattern company either side of a decisive victory at Clairefontaine. Third placed Hacker Des Places also won next time out at Dax where he beat a previous winner. Trainer Gabriel Leenders has yet to send any significant juveniles to the UK but he did recently collect his first Grade One in the Prix Ferdinand Dufaure. Masterstroke, who this year joined Yorton Farm Stud after standing in France, is a Monsun stallion out of a half sister to Galileo. He has yet to have a UK/IRE jumps winner from his first three crops but does have a 33% winners to runners rate with his French jumpers including the useful three-year-old of 2018, Floridee. Green Tune, another stout influence, is also the damsire of L’Unique. The damline is not short of decent jumps horses with National Spirit winner Prospect Wells and Brooklyn’s Gold showing as 4/2 along with Authorized who is a fantastic sire of juveniles. Paros is due to run in the colours of Middleham Park Racing.

    25/1 Heros d’Ainay bg G Leenders 1 run 1 win 0 places
    Sholokhov (Dom Alco){9-f}(0.87) 2/1 Crystal d’Ainay et al
    Heros d’Ainay ran out a most impressive winner of the listed Prix Go Ahead on his debut and speculation of huge offers followed shortly afterwards. However at this stage, the horse is still in France and it has been reported that connections are keen to keep hold of him on the basis that they are in sports and not sales.

    25/1 Quilixios bg G Elliott 1-1-0
    Maxios (Lomitas){16-c}(0.63) 3/1 Quicuyo 1st 2m½f Handicap Chase (137), Doncaster 2012
    The least fancied of Francois Nicolle’s four runners, Quilixious ground down the long time leader to win the second division of the traditional curtain raiser, the Prix d’Essai des Poulains. The time was two seconds quicker than the first division and while it has yet to produce any winners, the second and fourth filled the same positions (in reverse order) in the Prix Go Ahead. Gordon Elliot has had two juveniles from Francois Nicolle in recent years and while neither won for him during their first seasons, both acquitted themselves well in the Fred Winter with Campeador falling when holding a strong chance at the last in 2016 and Coko Beach finishing runner up three years later. Maxios, another addition to the UK/IRE NH stallion ranks for 2020, as well as being another son of Monsun, has so far shown himself a fine sire of juvenile hurdlers. More than half of his offspring have won over obstacles with almost two thirds achieving RPRs exceeding 107 as well as having 71% improving for switching from the flat. Lomitas is also a very capable damsire of juveniles and both he and Maxios have enjoyed success with family 16-c. Incidentally, he and Paros are fairly closely related on the dam’s side with Quilixios’s fifth dam being the fourth dam of Paros. Quilixios is set to run for Cheveley Park Stud.

    33/1 Berkshire Rocco chc A Balding 6-1-3 OR 108
    Sir Percy (Shirocco) {1-c}(0.18) 4/2 Bulwark 7th Pertemps Hurdle (127), Haydock 2009
    A rating of 108 was earned after his finishing second in the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot. If he runs over juvenile hurdles, only three horses (Housesofparliament, Sword Fighter and Sir Erec – all for Joseph O’Brien) will have brought higher flat rating to the sphere since 2012. While sixty-three horses have gone hurdling after starting with Andrew Balding, some are also sold to race abroad and I have yet to see anything that suggests Berkshire Rocco is being prepped for a hurdles career. That said, if anybody knows otherwise then please let us know.

    33/1 Mica Malpic chg David Cottin 1-1-0
    Hunter’s Light (Green Tune){1-w}(0.78) 3/1 Monetaire 2nd Festival Plate (138), Cheltenham 2015
    The Prix Grandak, a race for colts and geldings making their hurdles debuts, has a deserved reputation for being the launchpad of quality hurdlers. In 2018, it was won by Beaumec de Houelle who retired to stud as champion three year old and behind him that day were Quel Destin and Adjali who would finish first and second in the Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow. Nicky Henderson’s We Have A Dream (two Grade One juvenile wins) and Style de Garde (second in the Fred Winter) ran in the 2017 renewal, Frodon won in 2015 and champion Bonito de Berlais was third in 2014. Storm Of Saintly won ahead of Triumph runner up Far West in 2012 when emulating his father Saint des Saints who took the race in 2001. This year’s renewal, contested at Compiegne, was won in very nice style by the imposing Mica Malpic. The runner up that day, Prunay, would finish third in a Grade 3 next time at Auteuil and the winning time was a full three seconds quicker than the corresponding event for fillies later on the card. Mica Malpic is the sole offspring to have ran over jumps for sire Hunter’s Light thus far although Hunter’s Light is from the family of Darshaan, his sire Dubawi produced Dodging Bullets and Poet’s Voice has a reasonable record with juveniles. J P McManus has ended up buying the horse and as with trainer David Cottin’s Easysland, Mica Malpic is to continue to be trained in France. There is still a chance we can see him at Cheltenham in March although on looks alone, it is possible that he is a more long term project.

    33/1 Midnights Legacy bc A King 4-3-0 OR 90
    Midnight Legend (Generous){8-i}(0.47) 2/2 Katchit 1st Champion Hurdle, Cheltenham 2008
    Hurdling was the plan for Midnights Legacy before he even set foot on a racecourse with connections hoping that he might one day emulate his sire by achieving success as an entire over hurdles before replacing him as a stallion. His pedigree screams juvenile hurdler as it was in this sphere that his full sister Midnight’s Gift, and half sisters Giving Glances and Forgiving Glance, both picked up black type. Another full sister Giving Back and half sister Giveaway Glance were also winners as juveniles. Furthermore, Midnights Legacy’s dam Giving is a half sister to Miracle – the dam of Katchit who won seven times as a juvenile, including the Triumph and Anniversary Hurdles, before winning the Champion Hurdle the following season. Even the best laid plans in the breeding sheds rarely play out in reality and ones as rare and specific as those for Midnights Legacy would seemingly require some metaphysical intervention. Nevertheless, after a fairly uninspiring debut at 33/1 in a Bath novice last September, this scion has gone on to win his next three starts over ten and twelve furlongs on ground from soft to good while showing a willing attitude. Even without considering his background, Midnights Legacy would be an intriguing recruit from the flat as everything about his profile, along with his being trained by Alan King, would give him all the obvious tools to win races over jumps.

    33/1 Monmiral blc P Nicholls 1-1-0
    Saint des Saints (Mont Basile){16}(0.60) 2/1 La Landiere 1st Cathcart Chase (G2), Cheltenham 2003
    The Prix Rush is another contest for hurdling debutants although as it occurs at the beginning of the season, its reputation is not as strong as the aforementioned Prix Grandak. Nevertheless, it has still featured some very decent sorts over the years including Pic d’Orhy, Goliath du Berlais, Master Dino, Terrefort, Smashing, Esmondo, Baby Mix, Sam Winner, Twinlight, Balko, Cerium, Vol Solitaire and Robin des Champs. The first and second this year have both joined the Paul Nicholls yard and it was Monmiral who came out on top. The form of the race is non too inspiring at this stage with the field producing one win (in a minor contest at Bordeaux) from nineteen subsequent attempts – although only one of the first five home have been out since. By Saints des Saints, out of a winning half-sister to La Landiere and a half-brother to two other jumps winners, Monmiral has a fine pedigree for the game. Paul Nicholls has had only one juvenile winner from four Francois Nicolle imports in recent years although one of the other three was Pic d’Orhy whose career picked up in his second season. Monmiral is set to run in the colours of John Hales.

    33/1 Pamela des Mottes bf F Nicolle 3-2-1
    Kapgarde (Nikos){9-f}(1.22) 2/1 Farlow des Mottes 1st GCdH de Printemps (G3H), Auteuil 2018
    Impressive winner of the first fillies’ juvenile of the season and followed up in the listed Prix Girofla before finishing third in a Grade 3. Still registered at the Nicolle yard with no reports of her moving to the UK.

    33/1 Tritonic chc A King 5-2-1 OR 99
    Sea The Moon (Selkirk){4-r}(1.13) 4/3 Le Breuil 1st National Hunt Chase (G2), Cheltenham 2019
    The second Alan King horse on this list, Tritonic would bring a high level of flat form based on his win in the Haynes, Hanson & Clark and finishing runner up in a Royal Ascot handicap. Sire Sea The Moon had a most promising first season as a jumps stallion earning a 43% winners to runners strike rate with 57% of his offspring recording RPRs above 107 including the Grade One winner and Triumph Hurdle third Allmankind. Selkirk’s record as a damsire is not quite as exciting although he did produce the Champion Hurdler Sublimity. Owned by the McNeill family, it is more likely than not that he will go hurdling and he would probably make an above average recruit to the game.

    40/1 Gold Tweet bg Gabriel Leenders 3-1-0
    On Est Bien (Goldneyev){8-a}(1.22) 3/1 Jance 2nd Prix Sagan, Auteuil 1996
    Won on his first start by thirty lengths at Vichy and appears to be on this list on that basis alone as he is still registered with his trainer. Has since been beaten fourteen and twenty lengths in two subsequent starts.

    40/1 Nimes
    Was last seen pulling up after breaking down badly at Compiegne. Shame on Bet365 and Unibet for still accepting bets on this poor horse.

    40/1 Hell Red grg P Nicholls 1-0-1
    Martaline (Muhtathir){1-t}(0.45) 1/1 Hell Boy GCdH de Compiegne (G3), Compiegne 2019
    Hell Red was runner up to his new stablemate Monmiral in the aforementioned Prix Rush. By the late Martaline, another of France’s quality jumps stallions, Hell Red is a full brother to the useful Hell Boy, half sister to listed handicap hurdle winner Hell’s Queen and is out of a half sister to Baan Rim Pa who won the Grade Two Prix Leon Rambaud in 2011. The third dam Battani substantiates the juvenile credentials by being the dam of Me Voici, winner of the 2009 Finale, and the granddam of 2013 Anniversary winner L’Unique. Historically the path from Guillaume Macaire to Paul Nicholls has been trod by the likes of Master Minded, Twist Magic and Silviniaco Conti while Sametegal, Frodon and Solo have helped maintain the prestige of said tour in more recent years.

    40/1 Raffles Face bg F Nicolle 2-1-1
    Authorized (Falco){5-e}(0.75) 6/4 Sky’s The Limit 3rd Aintree Hurdle (G1), Aintree 2006
    Second to Nimes in his division of the Prix d’Essai des Poulains he won the Prix Rocking Chair next time out. Any winning son of Authorized must be of interest in the juvenile hurdles on these shores but he is another who remains at the Nicolle yard and his being owned by Munir and Souede is not reason alone to assume that he will be moving to the UK or Ireland.

    50/1 Brentford Hope bc R Hughes 1-1-0
    Camelot (Raven’s Pass){21-a}(0.68) 3/2 El Milagro 2nd 4YO Listed Handicap Hurdle, Auteuil 2011
    Won his only start in a Newmarket maiden last October by five lengths and appeared alongside the word “Derby” in certain conversations. However, injury interrupted these ambitions and he has still yet to return to the racecourse. The form of his Newmarket win is fine and although Richard Hughes has yet to win from his four runners in juvenile hurdles, his owners are no strangers to jumps horses and Brentford Hope is the only horse who appears in all of the available lists. Camelot has had a fine start with jumpers (Sir Erec and Gardens Of Babylon) so while there is a lot of uncertainty at this stage, he be an interesting horse to see over hurdles.

    50/1 Hacker des Places bg P Nicholls 2-1-1
    Great Pretender (Le Havre){7}(0.45) 2/0 Wild Queen 1st Prix Triquerville (L 4yo Chs), Auteuil 2006
    After looking rather green when third to Paros at Dieppe, Hacker des Places was still looking inexperienced when decisively taking an ordinary race at Dax from a previous winner. His sire’s winners to runners rate of 71% in juvenile hurdles is consistent with his similarly impressive rate of 62% in all jumps races and his granddam was a listed winner over fences as a four year old. Hacker des Places is another Francois Nicolle export and will run in the same Owners Group colours carried by Pentland Hills when winning the 2019 Triumph.

    50/1 Mogul bc A O’Brien 6-2-1 OR 110
    Galileo (Danehill){11-d}(0.74) 5/6 Bounce Back, 5/6 Zaliapour
    Sixth in last weekend’s Derby, while Joseph O’Brien will likely inherit a few from his father at the end of the season, it is too soon to assume that Mogul will be one of them.

    50/1 Overpriced Mixer bg N Henderson 5-2-2 OR 79
    Harbour Watch (Daylami){21-a}(1.40) 8/6 Keppols Queen 3rd Mares Champion Hurdle (G1), Punchestown 2016
    After winning a pair of Novice Auction Stakes at Thirsk and Kempton for Jamie Osborne, Overpriced Mixer was sold for £90,000 at Tattersalls’ Autumn sale. Sire Harbour Watch has a respectable 33% winners to runners rate with juveniles and those out of Daylami mares can hold their own. However, only around a third of each type improve for switching codes and there is a dearth of proven jumpers on the damline. Those sold by Jamie Osbourne can pick up prize money but are not usually high class and although there is no reason to assume he can not win races, expensive juveniles who wind up at Seven Barrows do not habitually achieve greatness. Overpriced Mixer will carry the Axom silks.

    100/1 North Street bg J Coogan 3-0-0
    Epailette (Shamardal){14-c}(1.26) 3/3 Long Dog dual Grade One winning novice hurdler in 2015
    Beaten by 19½ lengths in a Gowran maiden yesterday at 66/1. 52!/1 would still represent cramped odds.

    Cork All Star
    • Total Posts 824

    It would be a little bit embarrassing for Coolmore if their 3.4 million Guinea purchase ended up running in juvenile hurdles. I doubt that is going to happen!

    Bachelors Hall
    • Total Posts 1478

    If one had the wealth of Coolmore, I don’t think embarrassment would be a regularly experienced sensation. After all, recent years alone have seen Lake McKenzie (£380,000), Christopher Robin (£400,000) and Big Ben (£750,000) sent over hurdles as three-year-olds. And it’s not like finishing under a length third in the St Leger will save a Coolmore horse from the cruellest of cuts either as Housesofparliament learned in 2016.

    While I think Mogul’s inclusion in the ante-post market is a little tongue-in-cheek, I would not be at all flabbergasted to see him running at Leopardstown in December.

    Cork All Star
    • Total Posts 824

    I know, I was only having a bit of fun. Although those three other horses would only have bought two legs of Mogul.

    If he did end up at Leopardstown over Christmas, would he be the most expensive horse to ever go over timber?

    Interesting information by the way. I always enjoy the Triumph. My favourite winner was Katchit. I was at Market Rasen when he won his first start over hurdles. I backed him in all his subsequent races that season and still feel a bit guilty about deserting him in the Champion the following year.

    Bachelors Hall
    • Total Posts 1478

    I have no idea whatsoever. You would have to think he’d be right up there though!

    I remember him well. Didn’t he beat some long odds-on shot that day?

    Cork All Star
    • Total Posts 824

    He did indeed. He beat Is It Me, who had won his previous five races and was trying to give Katchit 8 lbs. It was on Saturday 23rd September 2006. I still have the race card!

    I remember watching the race and then dashing into the betting shop to watch George Washington win the QE2 at Ascot.

    • Total Posts 1179

    Thanks Bachelors, fascinating as ever. Not sure what happened to you post on the main page BTW

    Venture to Cognac
    • Total Posts 16241

    Good stuff BH.

    Good to see Midnights Legacy in there. He’s a very likeable horse, with a great attitude. I hadn’t even thought of him for this, but he’s got some recognised prizes in him over hurdles and on the level.

    I’ll not be betting on it this far out, but you’ve got him on my radar now.

    Bachelors Hall
    • Total Posts 1478

    I have already looked at the bulk of those in the Triumph Hurdle markets although there have been a few additions over the past few weeks. The only change in the prices has been Paros has drifting from 16/1 to 33/1.

    25/1 Dawn Rising bg (presumably) J O’Brien 4-1-1 RPR107
    Galileo (Danehill Dancer){4-k}(0.76) 1/1 Triplicate 2nd Royal Bond Novices Hurde (G1), Fairyhouse 2018
    While there has been no official word on this horse, he was recently treated to a gelding operation as well as entering most of the Triumph lists. Should he make the transition then he would make a most intriguing addition to the division. Along with being related to classic winners Sovereign, West Wind and Balanchine, he is also a full brother to Royal Bond runner up Triplicate and other good jumpers on his damline include Starchitect (2/3), Rio De Janeiro (2/1), Vandas Choice (3/1) and Butler’s Cabin (5/4). Finishing last on his debut in the Group 3 Eyrefield Stakes last October, Dawn Rising broke his maiden this June at Limerick by twelve lengths from a horse who would win a handicap off 75 next time out. Allowed to travel to Newmarket for the Group 3 Bahrain Trophy, the sweaty Dawn Rising won one battle up the straight against subsequent German Oaks winner Miss Yoda but was a spent force when headed just outside the furlong marker. The winner disappointed next time in the Gordon Stakes but it is still genuine group level form. Galileo is more than capable of siring juvenile hurdlers although his best (Royal Irish Hussar, Bally Glasheen, Outspoken) have been just shy of top class and has a better record as a damsire (Pentland Hills, Hargam, Sir Erec) and similar sentiments can apply to Danehill Dancer who is again an above average damsire without getting top class juveniles through his mares. Dawn Rising would not be the first pattern class horse off the flat to run for Joseph O’Brien in juvenile hurdles and both Landofhopeandglory and Sir Erec achieved success in the sphere. However, there were another three who were also officially rated above 100 who failed to win during their first seasons over hurdles (Housesofparliament, Sword Fighter, Tree Of Knowledge) although Ivanovich Gorbatov can also be included if one counts those trained in his father’s name. Overall, while Dawn Rising’s profile does not make him a guaranteed success in the division, he certainly has the potential to cause problems for any horse this season.

    33/1 Amhran Na Bhfiann
    The Derby third was introduced to the betting by Unibet after news emerged that he suffered a condylar fracture and following an operation where he had two pins put in his fetlock joint will be out until year at the earliest. Unibet are also the only firm happy to take bets on Gordon Stakes winner Mogul and the still scratched Nimes. This behaviour from these utter parasites can be at best described as fraudulent.

    50/1 Flying Scotsman bc J O’Brien 6-2-0 RPR 83
    Galileo (Mastercraftsman){1-w}(0.60) 3/1 Sir Frank Morgan 1st Novices’ Hurdle, Exeter 2015
    Flying Scotsman is another Joseph O’Brien inmate and while his flat form does not carry the prestige of Dawn Rising, he did win two handicaps at the Galway festival last week. Finishing no better than ninth on his first four starts, this improvement was said to have resulted from a step up in trip and a softening of ground and was maintained following a drop in trip of half a mile and a firming up of the ground. Cynicism aside, he has demonstrated the blend of speed and stamina vital in this discipline and his damsire, a leading sire of juveniles, has also made a bright start with his mare’s offspring in the division. Flying Scotsman will still need to improve before he can be thought of in Triumph terms but he has a nice profile and it will be no surprise if he turns out to be a useful sort.

    50/1 Prunay bg Ireland f2-0-2 RPR59 h2-0-0 RPR127
    Prince Gibraltar (Daylami){8-f}(1.50) 3/4 Cerberus 3rd Spring Juvenile Hurdle (G1), Leopardstown 2020
    Since 2011/12 there have been seventy-four juveniles who found new homes after the Arqana Summer sales at Deavillle including Diakali, Petite Parisienne, Adriana des Mottes and Zubayr. The last named was the most expensive of them all when he fetched €380,000 in 2015 but his price is the only one that exceeds this year’s top lot, Prunay, who changed hands for €240,000. Prunay’s career began in a flat race at Fontainebleau last November where he finished sixth, less than two lengths behind a future listed winner and three-quarters of a length ahead of a listed third. After a return to Fontainebleau for another flat race, he once again finished sixth ahead of a pair of subsequent handicap winners. His hurdling debut came in the Prix Grandak touched upon in Mica Malpic’s write up earlier in the thread. A lauchpad for such quality jumpers as Beaumac de Houelle, Storm Of Saintly and Saint des Saints, this year’s renewal saw Prunay finish nine lengths behind the winner but upwards of eleven lengths of the remainder. The winner has not been seen out since and those in behind have done nothing to uphold or elevate the form. Nevertheless, Prunay did give his stock a more respectable look when finishing third in the Prix Aguado, a Grade 3 with a good tradition, at Auteuil ahead of five previous winners and jumping well in the process. Sire Prince Gibraltar has had just the one hurdler in Ireland but has had three others in France thus far including a winner and a placed horse and while the Rock Of Gibraltar line is not prolific, it can get decent types. Daylami’s record as a damsire is below average but by no means the worst. Prunay’s damline is not brimming with jumpers but it does include last season’s decent juvenile Cerberus (3/4) with The Job Is Right (5/6) further back. It has not been disclosed which particular yard Prunay will end up but the agent Toby Jones did say he was going to clients in Ireland and stated that his being a maiden enhanced his price tag as well as describing him more a chasing type for the future.

    50/1 Night And Day bf W Mullins f4-0-3 (70.4)
    Sea The Moon (Danehill){9-f}(1.22) .5 Supasundae 1st Irish Champion Hurdle, Leopardstown 2018
    A horse from the Arqana sales whose destination has been disclosed is Night And Day who has moved to the yard of Willie Mullins who has enjoyed winners with six of the last seven juveniles bought from Deauville. She is unraced over hurdles but earned an equivalent rating of 70.4 from four runs on the flat, three of which saw her finish placed including when runner up last time in a Clairefontaine handicap over 2900 meters. Her flat rating is the lowest of all the Mullins purchases yet at €90,000, she is the most expensive of any horse bringing a rating lower than 80 from France. This can be explained in part to her being a half sister to the top class Supasundae as well as other winners Distingo and Twenty Twenty and that her sire Sea The Moon produced winners Allmankind, Must See The Doc and Gealach in his first jumping crop. She needs to leave her flat form far behind to get to the top of the division but she obviously stays, has a likeable pedigree and is in very good hands.

    50/1 Soaring Monarch bg P Fahey 6-1-2 (83) 87
    Free Eagle (Dubawi){10-c}(0.90) 5/4 Bayan 1st Handicap Hurdle (G3,146), Ascot 2014
    Soaring Monarch is not mentioned in terms of hurdling on the internet apart from in the Triumph lists but as his trainer predominantly handles national hunt horses, we can work on the assumption that that is where his attentions will be turned. He sprang a 50/1 surprise when losing his maiden tag at Limerick in June in a six and a half furlong maiden which has produced just one subsequent winner who landed a handicap off 59. He has since finished runner up in a pair of handicaps at the Galway festival including last time off 83 over nine and a half furlongs on soft ground. Soaring Monarch is rather distantly (5/4) related to the good handicapper Bayan but more immediately, his half brother and his dam’s two siblings are all poor maidens over jumps. This will be his sire’s first crop of juveniles and while his sire High Chaparral was good influence in the sphere, his sons have yet to really make a mark although Dubawi has a couple of winners from seven as a damsire. Peter Fahey has had no winner from his three juveniles since the 2011/12 season and while Soaring Monarch could well be a capable juvenile, his inclusion in the Triumph betting is very premature.

    66/1 Hiconic bf A Hales f7-0-2 (57) 57 j4-4-0 (119) 112
    Sixties Icon (Acclamation){1-n}(0.60) 1/0 Hi Note 2nd 4YO Hurdle, Cheltenham 2012
    A great deal has already been written in the race threads about this tremendously admirable filly and she is undoubtedly the best juvenile hurdler seen to date this year in the UK. It is possible for juveniles who contest the early season contests in the summer to play a part on the great stages in the spring with the likes of Quazar and Countrywide Flame winning in August and July ahead of doing the Aintree, Punchestown double and winning at Cheltenham respectively. However, while these two horses made great strides in a couple of races before embarking on their autumn campaigns, Hiconic has already raced on four occasions and even if she has yet to plateau, most juveniles tend to do so after only a few starts. While racing post ratings have her latest performance as her best by half a stone, I gave her close to the same mark but that would be lower than what she achieved at Stratford or Bangor. Hiconic has shown herself to be a likeable horse and she has earned the right to compete for black type given the proliferation of suitable races for her gender. However, she needs to improve even further by at least a couple of stones before she can be considered for the Triumph and that is not so likely given how she is already quite exposed.

    100/1 Prince Percy bg G Moore f6-0-1 (61) 65 j1-0-1 (-) 96
    Sir Percy (High Chaparral){1-u}(0.39) 3/1 Walk In The Park National Hunt Stallion
    Beaten by eleven lengths on his debut at Market Rasen, Prince Percy is capable of winning an ordinary contest but his Triumph hurdle credentials can not be seriously entertained barring an extraordinary level of improvement.

    • Total Posts 2775

    I watched the video of Heros d’Ainay and was quite impressed

    Bachelors Hall
    • Total Posts 1478

    Since tomorrow’s race at Southwell will not be previewed, I will have a look at the Triumph Hurdle markets as they currently stand.

    As a quick note on the wisdom of getting involved in the markets at this stage, here is a tidier table of the dates Triumph Hurdle 1-2-3s have made their hurdling debuts over the past thirty-six renewals.

    The dates shown in lime green denote a hurdling debut being made in France. Using the wayback machine, it is possible to find some archived ante-post lists. Of the recent winners whose careers began before this date, Countrywide Flame was available at 66/1 in October 2011 alongside Hi Note who is the dam of Hiconic who is the same price in contemporary lists. Peace And Co was not in the lists in October but he can be backed at 33/1 on the 11th of November. Nevertheless, it was known online that he would likely be competing in the UK as early as the 8th of August which illustrates that the ante-post lists are not at all exhaustive. Similarly, just because a horse is being listed by bookmakers, does not necessarily mean that it is sound or alive…

    In terms of updates since the last summary, Nicky Henderson’s Paros, who was initially installed at 16/1, has been backed in from 33/1 to 25/1 while Hell Red for Paul Nicholls has leapfrogged stablemate Monmiral in being backed to 25/1 from 40/1. Heros d’Ainay remains prominent in the betting despite there being no indication whatsoever that he will be sold to run in the UK or Ireland this season. Prunay’s (unknown) Prix Aguado form was given a boost yesterday as the fourth placed Baladin de Mesc won the listed Prix des Platanes while the runner-up Jeu de Paume finished third. Regarding the unlisted horses mentioned earlier in the thread, Hades paid tribute to Busselton (Joseph O’Brien) and State Man’s (unknown) Prix Wild Monarch form by winning the first three-year-old chase of Auteuil’s autumn season. It has emerged that Hope You Do, winner of his sole AQPS flat race, has joined the Phillip Hobbs yard.

    Four new horses have been added to the latest ante-post lists. At the time of writing, they are all known to be both alive and at National Hunt yards and two of them have already raced over hurdles in Ireland.

    50/1 Adagio bg David Pipe f3-1-2 GAG (German official rating) 39.5 (BHA 87) RPR 81
    Wiener Walzer (Hernando){9-e}(0.73) 3/3 Labaik 1st Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (G1), Cheltenham 2017
    Juveniles claimed out of French flat races by David Pipe has been a recent topic of discussion and one of them has found himself on the Triumph Hurdle ante-post list. Making his seasonal debut on the 17th of August, the German bred and trained Adagio ran out a convincing eight length winner of a twelve furlong Clairefontaine claimer under Christophe Soumillon. Behind him that day were four previous winners who each had official equivilant ratings exceeding 70. Adagio’s sire, the 2009 German Derby winner Wiener Walzer, had his first jumps winner on Sunday when Adagio’s full-sister Ad Acta won a weak maiden at Vertou. His third dam produced Arcadio and is the great-granddam of the mercurial Supreme Novice winner Labaik. He won his claimer well enough but the form has not held up thus far. He cost €25,555 after his race but he would not be the most expensive horse of his type in recent years and while Martin Pipe won a Champion Hurdle with Make A Stand, none of the eighteen horses claimed out of French races since 2011/12 has achieved a RPR exceeding 109. He looks like he could provide some fun days out for his new owners but talks of the Triumph are fanciful.

    50/1 Longclaw bc Gordon Elliott f6-0-2 (84) 83 j2-2-0 (-) 125
    Kitten’s Joy (Dixie Union){3-d}(2.38) american family
    Longclaw has done little wrong in winning both of his hurdles races this season. His jumping has not been perfect but it is certainly above average for this time of year and the form of his first race has been paid compliments. He was left with very little to beat last time at Down Royal as the field was heavily depleted by a loose horse but was travelling best before the major incidents and would have been the likest winner. He has yet to be fully tested and while he has achieved nothing beyond a mid-120s rating thus far, his flat rating is less than a stone behind the best that has been brought by any Gordon Elliott’s flat recruits. This is still early in the season and while the yard’s Chief Justice was seen out as early as the ninth of September, most of the better horses come out in the the thick of the season and along with Quilixios already in the yard, there are probably a few more recruits to come. There can also be reservations about the US centric pedigree as while he has had no problems winning a pair of ordinary contests, seeing out the most competitive juvenile hurdles on softer ground is a different matter. It is also worth remembering that after showing decent form as a two-year-old, he was disappointing on the flat on his return and he may be given to inconsistency. At this stage, the odds on offer for Longclaw are not ridiculous cramped because he has shown that he can win races over hurdles. By the same token however, they do not appear to be overly generous given his early emergence and overall profile.

    50/1 Charlie Bassett bg Noel Meade f7-0-5 (84) 86 j1-0-0 (-) 81
    Lawman (Xaar){13-b}(2.00) 0.5 Lambeau Field 3rd Prestbury Juvenile Hurdle (G2), Cheltenham 2016
    Charlie Bassett was in the process of running a fine race on his debut at Down Royal but his effort was curtailed when he was almost taken out at the third last before being brought down at the penultimate flight. He certainly would have ran better than suggested by his RPR of 81… Noel Meade has a fantastic record with his juvenile hurdlers and wins more than his fair share of races in the division as well as improving his charges from the flat. However, while he can get useful types, he does not generally get the top class juveniles and has not won a graded race in the division since Sam Bass won at Fairyhouse in December 2011. Furthermore, Charlie Bassett is not an assured stayer on breeding and though his stamina has yet to be tested at Down Royal, he did not appear to be seeing out his races well on the flat. Charlie Bassett is capable of winning races over hurdles if last week’s experiences have not soured him but he does not look like an obvious Triumph Hurdle horse.

    66/1 Red Missile bg Lucinda Russell f6-1-1 (80) 89
    Battle Of Marengo (Notnowcato){4-m}(0.76) 2/1 Carry On Sydney 1st Juvenile Maiden Hurdle, Market Rasen 2014
    At the time of writing, Red Missile is the only horse sold at last week to appear in the Triumph Hurdle ante-post lists and is currently available at 66/1. Racing on the flat for William Haggas, Red Missile got off the mark at the sixth attempt when lengthening nicely to win a twelve-furlong Lingfield maiden by six lengths in first time cheekpieces. The third placed that day has since won a maiden of his own and the form of the two handicaps he contested this season has stood up well. Battle Of Marengo produced two winners from six juvenile hurdlers in his first crop last season including triple winner Maria Magdalena, and his sole French hurdler last season was also a winner. Notnowcato has yet to have a winning juvenile as a damsire but was a respectable sire in his own right and Red Missile’s dam is a half-sister to a winner in this division. William Haggas expats, which include Cracker Factory, Park Paddocks and Prabeni, have above average figures in juvenile hurdles and 52.38% of them also show improvement for the switch between codes. Lucinda Russell has not enjoyed the greatest of successes within the division with only three winners from twenty-seven juveniles and none since Lone Foot Laddie in April 2013. Nevertheless, she has a promising type in Red Missile and while talks of the Triumph are premature, it will be interesting to see how he progresses.

    Venture to Cognac
    • Total Posts 16241

    Good stuff yet again BH.

    Didn’t see much encouragement the other week from Midnights Legacy, so I doubt there’ll be any early Antepost from me just now.

    Bachelors Hall
    • Total Posts 1478

    Cheers VtC. I don’t think a lot of horses got into that race and one bad run should not completely negate his prospects as a juvenile hurdler. But I agree that you would want to see more from a potential Triumph horse and the form of his two wins this season is not looking too hot.

    As a follow up to yesterday’s piece, here are three more French recruits who have not yet been listed in the Triumph ante-post lists. The following is not an endorsement and is solely for information purposes. Videos to the French races in question appear in the links.

    Nassalam chg Gary Moore j1-0-1
    Dream Well (Shirocco){14-b}(0.80) 0.5 Msassa 4th Champion Four Year Old Hurdle (G1), Punchestown 2018
    Since the 2011/12 season, twenty-two of the forty-seven juvenile hurdlers whose careers began with Guillaume Macaire have won during their first campaigns and.80.85% of them achieved RPRs of 108 and above which is the strongest rate of any source. Hell Red is the only Macaire graduate mentioned thus far on these pages but another is Nassalam who has joined the Gary Moore yard. Nassalam finished runner up on his sole start over hurdles and that came in Clairefontaine’s Prix du Douet at the end of June. A contest for hurdling newcomers, it does not have a history much richer than a midsummer race would afford although the 2014 renewal did see Triumph winner Peace And Co and the useful Ballotin fill the first two places. Pantxoa and Vicenzo Mio are other previous winners that went on to be successful juveniles in the UK. The first five pulled clear in this year’s renewal although the form is only fair at this stage with the winner finishing last in a listed race, third placed Piriac a runner-up to Saint Sam while receiving five kilos and fourth placed Mistersister was seventh behind Saint Sam before winning a Le Lion d’Angers claimer (he was purchased by Toby Jones afterwards for €16,006). Gary Moore is one of the leading trainers of juvenile hurdlers in the UK and while only six of his ninety-six juveniles since 2009/10 were sourced from French Hurdle races, all of them collected prize money and half of them won two races apiece. One of them, Botox Has, was also by Dream Well whose record with juveniles is well above average on both sides of the channel. Shirocco has also made a fine start as a damsire in the division and Nassalam can count the useful filly Msassa as his half sister and his dam was a sibling of winning hurdler Mountain Fighter. There are other horses with stronger form than Nassalam but it was a promising first effort and with his profile carrying plenty of substance, it would not be a surprise to see him doing well this season.

    Saint Sam bg Willie Mullins j3-2-0
    Saint des Saints (Linda’s Lad){19-b}(0.67) 1/0 Ladeka 2nd Prix Bournosienne (G3), Auteuil 2013
    One of those horses with stronger form is the aforementioned Saint Sam who following a tepid debut at Dieppe, would gain victories in his next two starts. The first of those victories came at the end of June on his return to Dieppe where he put up a battling performance to win the Prix Soldat. While the field was strung out and he showed a nice attitude in winning that race, the subsequent form has not been anything special. However, his latest victory in the Prix de l’Oudon does carry more substance as he gave five kilos to runner up Piriac while third placed Horse Maha has since won at Dieppe by over five lengths while giving away three kilos. Saint des Saints is an exceptional jumps stallion who also does well with his three and four year olds while Linda’s Lad has yet to have many opportunities as a damsire, he has produced three black type juveniles as a sire. Saint Sam’s family is a strong one for the division. While his dam won only one of her fourteen stars over hurdles, she finished placed five times in pattern company. She is also a half sister to winning hurdler Miss Lino and to the dam of dual Grade One winning juvenile We Have A Dream. Other high class jumpers to appear on the damline are Champion Four Year Old Hurdle runner up Blood Cotil (4/3) Grand Course de Haies d’Auteuil runner up Video Tape (5/2) 1995/96 French Champion Juvenile Villez (5/3) and Grade One winning Four-Year-Old and French Champion Hurdler Vaporetto (5/3). Derby third and top NH sire Presenting also appears at 5/4. Jean-Philippe Dubois has been the source of three UK/IRE juveniles thus far with two of them winning during their first seasons. Trainer Willie Mullins (Apple’s Jade, Burning Victory, Footpad) needs no introduction but his Night And Day is currently his only horse on the Triumph lists at the moment. While Saint Sam has yet to produce anything definitively top class, his profile is considerably more compelling than that of his stablemate and as he has already shown himself to be a beautiful jumper of hurdles, he should be supplanting Night And Day before too long.

    Siroco Jo cg Paul Nicholls j1-0-1
    Hurricane Cat (Vertical Speed){4-r}(1.86) 1/1 Cyclone Jo 1st 4yo Conditions Hurdle, Compiegne 2018
    Paul Nicholls already has Hell Red, Monmiral and Hacker des Places on the Triumph ante-post lists but it would not take much from Siroco Jo to get quoted alongside his stablemates. Another with just the sole start, Siroco Jo finished second in the Prix de l’Orbiquet at Clairefontaine at the beginning of last month. While he was recieving weight from the first and third, the former had won last time at Le Lion d’Angers ahead of Hystery Bere while the latter had finished fourth in the listed Prix Go Ahead. Given his conspicuous inexperience he was, it was a fine debut effort to split the two and he may have won had he been quicker to get the hang of racing. Those two did not quite uphold the form in Tuesday’s Listed Prix des Platanes at Auteuil but Siroco Jo still has the scope to further improve. Sire Hurricane Cat has had just the two juvenile hurdlers in the UK but one of them was the dual winning Thounder and he has a respectable record in France. Siroco Jo’s full-sister won a conditions hurdle at Compiegne and his grandam was a half-sister to Prix des Drags winner Indien Bleu and decent three-year-old Dandy Bleu. Paul Nicholls follows only Nicky Henderson when it comes to juvenile hurdlers in the UK and while only three Mickaël Seror graduates have ran in the UK thus far, Call Me Lord and Fanfan du Seuil have been very decent.

    • Total Posts 60

    It’s always difficult to pinpoint a Triumph Hurdle horse this far out, but this a great piece of work Bachelors

    Bachelors Hall
    • Total Posts 1478

    Cheers waroftheroses. I would not have any pretentions to being able to properly assess the race at this stage but it probably helps to familiarise oneself with the contenders so that when these horses do run over hurdles in the UK, they are not perfect strangers. That being said, there is always the chance that this season’s winner has not even been broken in yet! Nevertheless, a fair few of these should be competing in the better races this season.

    The next race in the UK is due to take place at Perth where Lucinda Russel’s recent purchase Red Missile is among the entries and Saturday could see a rematch between Hiconic and Soldier On Parade at Market Rasen in which is generally the Triumph Hurdle of the summer. In the meantime however will be the Prix Robert Lejeune at Auteuil which is due off at 14:35 GMT tomorrow afternoon.

    It is usually a stepping stone to the Grade Ones for French three-year-olds and tomorrow’s renewal features the country’s top three in the division by prize money. In the past, the race has been a port of call for those who would compete in juveniles on this side of the channel although as this table demonstrates, this has not been the case in recent years.

    There are a couple of horses running tomorrow who are listed in the triumph markets. Baladin de Mesc is available at 33/1 with William Hills, 10bet and and Sport Nation and Raffles Face can be backed at 40/1 with Sky Bet and 33/1 with Bet365 and Unibet. However, while this is not to say that bookmakers are deceitful parasites, it should be noted that both of these horses are still trained in France. It is possible that one or two of these might end the four year hiatus and make their way to these shores but it would still be nice if these imports were confirmed before bookmakers began accepting bets on said animals.

    Nevertheless, it is an interesting race in its own right and there will be some indirect clues insofar as horses who have actually been imported are concerned.

    Videos of the races mentioned below can be found through the links.

    Magneto, Jeu de Paume and Baladin de Mesc were first, second and fourth respectively in July’s Prix Aguado and Prunay (black cap, red sleeves) would finish third on that occasion. Prunay cost €240,000 at Arqana’s summer sale and he is currently available at 50/1. To this day, Prunay’s new trainer has remained elusive but perhaps all will be revealed when my OJA arrives…

    Two horses whose new home is publicly known are Paros and Hacker des Places and the pair were split by Jeu de Paume in a conditions hurdle at Dieppe back in May. Paros (red, white crossbelts, black cap), who currently heads the Triumph betting at 22/1 is with Nicky Henderson while Hacker des Places (maroon, gold seams) has joined Paul Nicholls and is available at 50/1.

    Likely outsider Hirta also has form which ties in with UK imports as he was fourth on his debut in the Prix Rush behind a pair of Paul Nicholls recruits in Monmiral (dark blue, white cap) and Hell Red (grey horse). The former is currently priced at 33/1 while the latter is 25/1.

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