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2014 Cheltenham Festival tips - JCB Triumph Hurdle (13:30 GMT)

The JCB Triumph Hurdle ((Juvenile Grade 1) (Class 1) – 2m 1f) takes place at 13:30 GMT, and Brian Healy is looking to make a winning start to the day at the Cheltenham Festival...

A typically trappy opener to the final day of the Cheltenham Festival, this year’s Triumph Hurdle doesn’t look likely to throw up an Our Conor-style performance this time around.

Calipto (4/1) is entitled to plenty of respect, and has looked a smart prospect in his runs to date but the form of Paul Nicholls’ horses thus far throughout the Festival give some cause for concern. 

He easily beat a next-time winner on his hurdling debut on these shores after joining the Nicholls camp from France, and followed up in good fashion next time; there looks to be plenty of improvement left in his locker, and he could be a future star.

Dessie Hughes’ Guitar Pete (8/1) has won four starts over hurdles from six, which includes a Grade One, and is entitled to go well, but he has to prove he can handle the quicker ground, while Royal Irish Hussar (9/1) was well beaten in soft ground at Doncaster last time, but can figure much more strongly on this quicker surface and should go well.

John Quinn is doubly-represented and won the race in 2012 with Countrywide Flame, and he can repeat the dose with RUTHERGLEN (11/1), who handled faster ground well on the flat and has performed admirably since sent over hurdles including when scoring under a double penalty last time at Musselburgh.

While he has something to find on the balance of his form, he’s open to plenty of improvement and will appreciate the conditions; he can go close and upstage his more fancied stablemate, Pearl Castle (10/1) who was made to pull out all the stops last time at Doncaster by Zamoyski.

Selection – RUTHERGLEN (11/1).


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2014 Cheltenham Festival tips - JCB Triumph Hurdle (13:30 GMT)

The JCB Triumph Hurdle ((Juvenile Grade 1) (Class 1) – 2m 1f) takes place at 13:30 GMT, and Brian Healy is looking to make a winning start to the day at the Cheltenham Festival...

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