2020 Triumph Hurdle tips – Tips for juvenile highlight
Triumph Hurdle Tips
Jon Vine takes a look through the betting for the opening race on day four of the Cheltenham Festival and provides readers with his 2020 Triumph Hurdle tips on Friday 13th March.
Gold Cup day opens with an almighty bang, as the finest juvenile prospects in the land battle it out in the Triumph Hurdle. Many greats of the sport have earned their first Cheltenham Festival title in the opener on day four, with the names of Persian War and Tiger Roll shining bright amongst their peers.
I’ve taken a look at the most likely runners in this year’s renewal, and provided readers with my 2020 Triumph Hurdle tips.
Triumph Hurdle Tips – The Top Three
Topping the Cheltenham Festival betting we find Garry Moore’s Goshen (4/1 Unibet), who’s powered to victory on all three of his starts over jumps. Although he has jumped noticeably out to his right on all three starts, Goshen has looked really impressive. Surging to victory from the front to seal emphatic victories at Fontwell, Sandown and Ascot. A worthy favourite for the Triumph Hurdle.
Rated the best of the top three on the flat, Allmankind (9/2 Ladbrokes) has also won on all of his starts over obstacles to date. Dan Skelton claimed he wasn’t expecting too much from this raw stamp of a horse when he lined up at Cheltenham’s November Meeting. Yet, Allmankind made all to beat Botox Has that day, and produced an even more impressive display at Chepstow to win the Grade One Summit Juvenile.
Another exuberant front-runner, Aspire Tower (6/1 Unibet) made all to seal victory on both of his opening two starts over hurdles. Rachael Blackmore’s mount then led the field along in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown, and was just starting to get rolling at the time of his untimely fall at the final flight. We’ll never know whether he would have won that day, but my instinct tells me Aspire Tower probably would have got the job done. Despite that loss, he remains a leading Triumph challenger.
Triumph Hurdle Tips – The Chasing Pack
A Wave Of The Sea and Cerberus
Joseph O’Brien watched A Wave Of The Sea (14/1 William Hill) and Cerberus (16/1 Ladbrokes) trade victories earlier in the season, and decided to throw both into the Spring Juvenile. Once Aspire Tower had departed, it looked for all money like Cerberus was going to win. A Wave Of The Sea had been pushed along for a while and I expected him to stay on to claim a modest second.
Yet, Cerberus tied up markedly in the closing stages, allowing A Wave Of The Sea to come through and claim victory. I don’t think either is of the same calibre as Sir Erec and Fakir D’Oudairies, the two outstanding juveniles heading into last year’s Cheltenham Festival. Both could end up in the Triumph, or one could be sent to the Fred Winter. Either way, neither will feature in my final 2020 Triumph Hurdle tips.
Another baring the colours of JP McManus, Mick Pastor (16/1 William Hill) arrived at Paul Nicholls’ yard having clocked an RPR of 131 on his only hurdles start in France. Nicholls’ newcomer took on Allmankind on debut, but an early mistake lit him up and Mick Pastor faded rapidly, having run with the choke out for much of the race. Barry Geraghty’s mount was much more composed at Ludlow, seeing off a modest field with ease. Mick Pastor is now rated just four pounds short of Goshen, so he certainly has to be respected.
Having lost out to Stratagem – who could represent Paul Nicholls in the Fred Winter – on his first outing, Solo (25/1 Unibet) got off the mark with a fantastic performance on his final start in France. Nicholls’ recruit absolutely bolted up that day, and received an RPR of 134 for that 15-length success. Solo may yet to have made his debut for Paul Nicholls, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he turned out to be the best of his Triumph entrants.
Ran up to a mark of 72 on the flat. Fujimoto Flyer (20/1 William Hill) then claimed an 18-length triumph on her first start over hurdles, staying on strongly after the last to beat a future winner with ease. Emmet Mullins’ then took his filly over to Auteuil, and Fujimoto Flyer proved herself a cut above her French rivals in sealing an impressive nine-length triumph. She’ll be gaining weight from the boys and carries Listed-winning form with her to Cheltenham.
Triumph Hurdle Tips – Overlooked Outsiders
Has done little wrong in his three starts over jumps. Botox Has (20/1 Unibet) was only beaten three-lengths by Allmankind at Cheltenham. Before that he’d secured an 18-length winner on debut, and Garry Moore’s charge ran out a five-length victor on his second start at Cheltenham in December. Although he wouldn’t look out of place in the Triumph, you’d expect Moore to split Goshen and Botox Has up. Botox Has could be the one to beat in the Fred Winter.
Finished a close fourth in a Listed bumper at Cheltenham, having hacked up on his debut at Wincanton. Grand Roi (25/1 Ladbrokes) then made light work of the task at hand on his first hurdles start, making all to beat a poor field at Fakenham. Looks like Nicky Henderson’s leading challenger, but will have to take his form up a notch if he wants to emulate Pentland Hill and win this Grade One.
Donald McCain’s charge has certainly been overlooked in the Triumph betting. Navajo Pass (33/1 Ladbrokes) won an attritional Grade Two on his last start, and now shares the same 140-rating at Mick Pastor. Donald McCain’s charge won’t get the deep ground he relished on his last couple of start. Yet, he could still go well and could looks one of the best each-way Triumph Hurdle tips.
It seems strange that I’ve got this far without mentioning a Willie Mullins runner. The highest placed of his entrants in the betting is Hook Up (40/1 Unibet), who’s yet to run in the colours of Rich Ricci. The four-year-old made the move to Ireland in January and the team think enough of their recruit to hand him a Triumph entry. He will have to be something special if he wants to get involved in, what looks, a high-quality renewal of this Grade One.
Triumph Hurdle Tips – Verdict
The leading trio are clearly some way clear of their rivals on everything they’ve produced thus far. The fact that all three have shown a liking for bold, front-running tactics should ensure this year’s edition of the Triumph Hurdle is a thrilling spectacle!
While I think Goshen has a very bright future, his jumping has to be seen as a negative around the course at Cheltenham, and the form of the three races he’s won is the weakest of the market leaders. I’m confident Aspire Tower would have done enough to win the Spring Juvenile, and he’ll travel to Cheltenham with an excellent chance. Of the top three, though, the one I’d want to be on is ALLMANKIND.
I was so impressed with the way Dan Skelton’s mount dealt with Cerberus in the Summit. Joseph O’Brien’s raider sprung from the pack to serve it up to the leader, but Allmankind pulled away in convincing fashion. Harry Skelton’s mount loved decent ground when winning by 37-lengths on his first start at Warwick. He has valuable course form in the book, and the way he’s progressed between runs suggest a career-best effort could be in the offing at the Festival.
Now, there is a chance that the three front-running favourites could cut each-others’ throats at the head of affairs, setting the race up perfectly for a closer. FUJIMOTO FLYER – who would be ridden by 2011 Triumph winner, Daryl Jacob – was held up early on both of her starts over hurdles, but tanked into contention on both occasions and finished like a train to seal emphatic wins.
I hear that Emmet Mullins’ filly could head to Kempton for the Adonis Hurdle before her tilt at the Triumph. If she wins that Grade Two – which she’s more than capable of doing – then her Cheltenham Festival price will plummet, so you better jump on now. She’ll be the second of my 2020 Triumph Hurdle tips at a fantastic each-way price.