Triumph Hurdle Tips and Free Bets
Triumph Hurdle Preview: Tips, Betting Offers and Odds
The final day at the Cheltenham Festival kicks off with the Triumph Hurdle for juveniles. Here we take a look at the history of the race, provide our betting tips and highlight some of the best odds and offers available.
First run in 1939, this 2m1f, Grade 1 Novice Hurdle now offers over £118,000 in total prize money. Restricted to four-year-olds, the Cheltenham Festival’s day four curtain raiser is the top juvenile contest of the jumping year.
Triumph Hurdle Tips and 2020 Race Preview
The Triumph Hurdle gets Gold Cup Day at the Cheltenham Festival off to a cracking start. Some of the most promising four-year-olds in jumps racing will line up in this big Grade 1 contest which takes place over 2m1f.
This is a notoriously difficult race to win so it could well pay to take on the two favourites – Goshen and Solo. Both have won in eye catching style and are clearly going to have impressive careers but the Triumph Hurdle usually goes the way of a hardy type with Allmankind and Sir Psycho both fitting the bill nicely. The former won the Triumph Hurdle Trial at Cheltenham in November whilst the latter won on heavy ground at Haydock so should prove difficult to shake off.
- 2019 – Pentland Hills – jockey Nico de Boinville, trainer Nicky Henderson
- 2018 – Farclas – jockey Jack Kennedy, trainer Gordon Elliott
- 2017 – Defi Du Seuil – jockey Richard Johnson, trainer Philip Hobbs
- 2016 – Ivanovich Gorbatov – jockey Barry Geraghty, trainer Aidan O’Brien
- 2015 – Peace And Co – jockey Barry Geraghty, trainer Nicky Henderson
- 2014 – Tiger Roll – jockey Davy Russell, trainer Gordon Elliott
- 2013 – Our Conor – jockey Bryan Cooper, trainer Dessie Hughes
- 2012 – Countrywide Flame – jockey Dougie Costello, trainer John Quinn
- 2011 – Zarkandar – jockey Daryl Jacob, trainer Paul Nicholls
- 2010 – Soldatino – jockey Barry Geraghty, trainer Nicky Henderson
- 2009 – Zaynar – jockey Barry Geraghty, trainer Nicky Henderson
- 2008 – Celestial Halo – jockey Ruby Walsh, trainer Paul Nicholls
- 2007 – Katchit – jockey Robert Thornton, trainer Alan King
- 2006 – Detroit City – jockey Richard Johnson, trainer Philip Hobbs
JCB Triumph Hurdle Trends
Introducing a new race to the Cheltenham Festival is always a balancing act. The addition of the Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle gave something extra to the Festival but there’s no doubt that it has had an impact on the JCB Triumph Hurdle.
The Triumph Hurdle retains some of its reputation as a difficult race to predict but the slightly smaller fields and dilution of four-year-olds available to compete has seen an increase in winning favourites, especially recently. Additionally, it’s relatively uncommon for horses outside of the top three in the betting to win.
Big Hitters Taste Success
Going hand in hand with the improving record of shorter priced options is the number of winners for big name trainers. Gordon Elliott, Nicky Henderson and Philip Hobbs have all tasted recent success and there was even a rare Cheltenham win for Aidan O’Brien in 2016. British trainers had a monopoly on the Triumph Hurdle with wins in every race from 2003 to 2012. The picture has been rather different since.
The big yards sending highly promising juveniles to this race has led to a trend of higher rated horses winning. At 140, Farclas became the lowest rated horse to win the Triumph Hurdle in 10 years (Countrywide Flame was also rated at 140).
Whatever the rating of the horse you’re looking at back, make sure they have had at least two runs and one win leading up to Cheltenham. Winning form immediately before Cheltenham isn’t vital but the Triumph Hurdle is normally run at a fair price so sharpness, proven by a run inside the last three months, is important.
As the competitors are juveniles it’s likely that even the leading contenders in the betting have never run at much over 2m although horses without at least one performance over that distance should be discounted.
Triumph Hurdle History
Although the race may have first taken place back in 1939, it travelled a somewhat circuitous route on its way to becoming the established Cheltenham Festival contest it is day. Indeed after its initial running it was another 11 years before the second edition of the race took place in 1950. The race then settled into a more regular pattern, being run each year until 1962. Cheltenham was not the location for any of these early renewals however, which all took place at the Surrey venue of Hurst Park.
Following a two year hiatus in 1963-64 the race first appeared at Cheltenham in 1965. It still hadn’t quite made it to the festival however as it was held as part of the April meeting for its first three appearances at the track. It finally made its festival debut in 1968 where it has remained ever since. Having been sponsored by The Daily Express and Elite Racing in its time, JCB took over in 2002.
The most outstanding winner in the history of the race came one year before the Triumph Hurdle made its festival debut. Persian War took the 1967 edition for trainer Bryan Swift. Brilliant around Cheltenham, the son of Persian Gulf went on to win the Champion Hurdle in 1968, 1969 and 1970.
Three others have gone on to take Cheltenham’s premier hurdle contest after first landing the Triumph, Clair Soleil, Kribensis and Katchit.
Given the similarity between the two events, it would appear that the Champion Hurdle would be the next natural step for a Triumph winner. This can indeed be the case as illustrated by the aforementioned quartet, at times though winners have subsequently gone on to showcase their talents in quite different spheres.
2006 hero Detroit City achieved a notable double when following up his Triumph Hurdle win with a big flat handicap victory in the same season, coming home in front in the Cesarewitch for Philip Hobbs.
It is Commanche Court who must go down as one of the most versatile winners however. Having demonstrated the requisite speed and hurdling ability to provide Ted Walsh with his only festival winner here in 1997, Commanche Court also showed he possessed immense reserves of stamina and an aptitude for fences, he took the Irish Grand National and Punchestown Gold Cup in the year 2000.
Headed into the year 2015, Nicky Henderson already headed the trainers list here, with five wins. Not content with notching his sixth win in the race in that year, he trained the second and third for good measure, a remarkable feat. He then added his seventh winner in 2019 with Pentland Hills. Henderson is also one of only two men to have trained the winner in consecutive years, the other being Ryan Price back in 1961-62.
Similarly only two jockeys have managed to win two in a row. Persian War’s jockey, Jimmy Uttley, followed up in 1968 with England’s Glory. Nicky Henderson provided Barry Geraghty with wins aboard Zaynar (2009) and Soldatino (2010). Geraghty leads the way overall, having also taken the race for Henderson in 2015 with Peace And Co, and Spectroscope in 2003 for Jonjo O’Neill.
Jonjo O’Neill earns an extra mention here as he is the only man to have both ridden and trained the winner, having been aboard Peterhof in 1976.