Triumph Hurdle betting tips for the 1.30pm Cheltenham Friday 14th March, free predictions Cheltenham 2014.
The Triumph Hurdle opens the final day’s racing of the Cheltenham Festival and is a 2m1f hurdle race for juveniles. This year the race looks wide open, and with a handful of horses that have changed disciplines from the flat, together with a few who have come over from France, punters are in for a tricky way to start the final day. With the aim of providing some help here are my best bets.
Ruby Walsh and Willie Mullins will be looking to start this day off, just as they did on Tuesday and Wednesday, with a winner. They head into the race with Abbyssial (14/1 BetVictor), who is unbeaten on Irish turf, since arriving on the Emerald Isle from France. The horses’ latest run came a month ago, when he beat another Mullins’ horse – Adriana Des Mottes, who reposes today. On that day, Walsh chose to ride the runner-up and therefore its particularly noteworthy to see that he has switched to ride Abbyssial. One slight concern would be how the horse will handle drier ground.
His main English rival looks to be the Paul Nicholls’ trained CALIPTO (4/1 BetVictor), who has done little wrong this season. Nicholls and jockey Daryl Jacob will be desperately looking for their first winner of the Festival, and Calipto could well provide it. Like Abbyssial, Calipto is a French import, who had good previous form before crossing the English Channel. He oozes class and the hectic pace of a Triumph would pose no problems with the drying ground likely to suit as well.
Trainer John Ferguson sends Broughton (7/1 William Hill) to the race, who has a desirable flat career behind him. He has bags of experience on the flat which is sure to be an advantage in the hustle and bustle of a big field Cheltenham race. He has only had two starts over hurdles in his career so far, the last of which came at Musselborough, where he impressively dealt with his rivals. He seems a progressive type who is yet to be truly tested over the smaller obstacles and may find one too good in this field.
Pearl Castle (11/1 Stan James) is another in the race who has flat racing form, and who looks like he will be better suited to ground on the faster side of soft. On his second start over hurdles at Doncaster he tore his rivals apart with a late burst of speed after the last, but equally looks to have plenty of stamina. He is one of two runners for John Quinn who also enters Rutherglen (12/1 Coral). This juvenile is unbeaten since changing disciplines this season, and seems to be a real progressive type with more to come. Positives aside, I think that might both find a couple better than them in this field.
Nicky Henderson is set to rely on Royal Irish Hussar (9/1 bet365), a horse who doesn’t look an ideal Triumph type having perhaps peeked too early on in the season. Barry Geraghty takes the mount, a huge positive considering the way he has ridden at Cheltenham this week. He was successful beaten one of the leading Irish fancies Guitar Pete (8/1 William Hill) at Cheltenham in November. Despite this, Guitar Peter has undoubtedly progressed since their meeting, winning at Leopardstown last month in easy style. I would be surprised if either were good enough to take a hand in the finish here however.
Gigginstown’s TIGER ROLL (9/1 bet365) was runner-up behind Guitar Pete at Leopardstown, and has been talked up in the aftermath. He is hard to weigh up given he is likely to find continued improvement with Gordon Elliott – a trainer who places his horses well. He will undoubtedly have improved for the run and will have learnt a lot which makes him an interesting selection from an each-way point of view.
Plinth (16/1 Stan James) was another involved in that race finishing third, a disappointing result for a horse who showed a lot of promise in a maiden hurdle over the Christmas period. The form of that maiden is yet to be franked and the horse he beat – Ivan Grozny finished well behind the field in the Fred Winter this week. AP McCoy has kept his faith in the horse, but he will need to be at his best to get him home in first.
CALIPTO has done nothing wrong yet this season and is hard to oppose. He looks a lovely type who has all the credentials to run a big race. For an each way bet, I think TIGER ROLL has to be in with a chance. He looks a real progressive type, and will have come on a bundle after his latest run behind Guitar Pete.
CALIPTO (WIN) (4/1 BetVictor)
TIGER ROLL (E/W) (9/1 bet365)
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