Whether it be three-time Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase champion Tiger Roll, Champion Hurdle winner Kribensis, or Irish Grand National victor Commanche Court – National Hunt racing fans have been fortunate enough to witness a number of world-class thoroughbreds compete in and win the Cheltenham Festival’s Triumph Hurdle.
In what is the opening race of the final day of the Festival, the Triumph Hurdle is the leading event on the National Hunt calendar to be exclusively contested by juveniles.
If the field of entries for 2023’s renewal are anything to go by, we can expect an incredible battle between some of the brightest prospects the sport has to offer. With that in mind, read on as we dissect the Triumph Hurdle hopes at Prestbury Park this month.
A 7/4 joint-favourite in the Cheltenham betting odds with most operators, four-year-old Lossiemouth has impressed since making her debut in April of last year. Subsequent to her maiden outing at Auteuil, the French horse had a 245-day break after Willie Mullins took over from Yannick Fouin as the filly’s trainer.
Mullins has experienced success with the talented juvenile, notching up victories in fixtures at Fairyhouse and Leopardstown, before being narrowly beaten by stablemate Gala Marceau in her most recent outing at the Dublin Racing Festival.
It’s hard to judge Lossiemouth’s credentials off the back of that second-placed finish at Leopardstown, as she was ridden poorly by Mullins’ first-string jockey Paul Townend. When speaking with the press post-race, Mullins was visibly upset with Townend’s strategy in the two-mile affair.
“The winner is a good filly and improving all the time but Paul felt he was unlucky. He got done three times,” he said.
“I hope it doesn’t leave a mark. She had a hard run from the third last. For a four-year-old filly that might leave a mark.
“I’m worried about that. I wish Paul had just gone hands and heels as the writing was on the wall, so what was the point in hitting her?”
If Townend can avoid the tactical errors similar to the ones he made in Ireland, most feel Lossiemouth’s class should prove too much.
Unbeaten in his last two starts, the Mullins-trained Blood Destiny may not have the hype and anticipation surrounding him when compared to stablemate Lossiemouth, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t an extremely promising prospect in his own right. The gelding’s most recent outing at Fairyhouse is evidence of that, with him dominating his opposition to reign supreme by a convincing 18 lengths from a pair of Joseph Patrick-trained thoroughbreds in Common Practice and Nusret.
With the four-year-old moving into joint-favourite alongside his stablemate in recent days, it’s clear punters consider Blood Destiny a legitimate threat – with the French-bred horse firming to 7/4 in the betting lines.
It appears as though, just like many of fixtures on the agenda at this year’s Cheltenham Festival – that the Triumph Hurdle will be Mullins’ to lose. Gala Marceau rounds out Mullins’ three favourites for this race – and needs to be considered if you’re interested in making an educated bet.
As mentioned earlier, Gala Marceau has arguably the strongest win of the three this year, finishing strongly to take home the spoils in the Dublin Racing Festival’s Spring Juvenile Hurdle. Was it a case of everything seemingly going the way of the four-year-old? Or, is it a sign of things to come at Prestbury Park? Only time will tell, but one thing is for certain, we’re set for a cracker in the Triumph Hurdle.Copyright © 2023 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.