Thank you for signing up. 

We've sent you an email. Please click on the link to verify your address.

Win big with FREE Tips from our experts

Get our professional tips mailed direct

Pearl Castle does just enough to come through Triumph Hurdle trial

Pearl Castle was solid rather than spectacular when securing his second success over timber at Doncaster but remains on course for a tilt at the JCB Triumph Hurdle at this season's Cheltenham Festival.

The four-year-old son of Montjeu won at Goodwood and Sandown on the Flat for trainer Andrew Balding and mega-rich owners Qatar Racing Ltd after once changing hands for 150,000 guineas as a yearling.

New handler John Quinn paid a fraction of that price on behalf of colourful patron Paul Gaffney, who also has The Giant Bolster bound for Cheltenham, with a view to a National Hunt career and so far he has looked a bargain buy.

After running too freely on his jumping bow at Wetherby, Pearl Castle got his act together next time out when claiming an 18-runner juvenile hurdle at Doncaster by a whopping 16 lengths, coming through smoothly from behind to lead at the last before quickening impressively clear.

On the strength of that display, he was sent off as an odds-on favourite on his return to Town Moor and duly obliged once more, albeit by a much reduced margin of two lengths ahead of Zamoyski, another dual scorer on the level.

Jockey Brian Hughes looked comfortable enough when stalking the leading trio entering the home straight but had to work a bit harder than expected to get into a position to challenge following a slightly troubled passage and a mistake at the penultimate flight of hurdles.

However, once in the clear, Pearl Castle responded willingly and soon put the issue beyond doubt before keeping on nicely to wrap up a workmanlike win on route to next month's trip to Prestbury Park.

Gaffney told At The Races: "He just pecked on landing two out, but as everyone could see he's got great flat speed. That's only the eighth race of his life and he keeps on getting better, so it's onwards and upwards to Cheltenham."

There is little doubt he will have to improve again to make his presence felt at elite level in a race won so spectacularly by Our Conor last season, but Quinn is cautiously optimistic that conditions will suit at the Festival.

"He came back on the bridle after that mistake, which is certainly a good sign," said the trainer. "He'll also be better on better ground and in a truer run race. He had to work hard out there but don't forget the second is no mug at all on the Flat."


Cheltenham promotions United States
Change Location


Share this with your friends

To:
From:
Your comments:

Pearl Castle does just enough to come through Triumph Hurdle trial

Pearl Castle was solid rather than spectacular when securing his second success over timber at Doncaster but remains on course for a tilt at the JCB Triumph Hurdle at this season's Cheltenham Festival.

Read more »

You have unread messages

You have unread messages