CHRIS Graham (@chrisgraham79) is on hand to looks at the Day 4 opener, the Triumph Hurdle.
Cheltenham 13:30 | Triumph Hurdle | ITV1
Always a good race this as the juveniles of jump racing battle it out in the final day opener, usually under a frenetic pace. It sets the tone for Day 4.
The betting is dominated by JP McManus with two of his beasts at the top of the board in the shape of Defi Du Seuil and Charli Parcs. I’m afraid I’m going to have to immediately stroke off the latter from my list after his last run at Kempton a few weeks ago.
The Nicky Henderson trained horse took a bad fall in the Adonis and that can only blight his tender confidence. I also don’t think he would have won that day as seemed to have the choke out when he came a cropper.
Defi Du Seuil might turn out to be something special but at 9/4 I’m happy to swerve him. Six of his seven wins have come in fields with no more than five winners and with 16 potentially lining up here it could be a bit of a shock for him.
I’ll put my Win Only faith in two horses further down the betting in the shape of Mega Fortune and Landofhopeandglory.
Two bigger priced horses
The former is trained by Gordon Elliott and has progressed wonderfully throughout the season. A win at Down Royal in November was followed by two thirds in Group 3 races in December before an authoritative win in the Spring Juvenile last month.
The Spring is a good guide for this race and in 2013 Our Conor won that before going on to Triumph glory at Cheltenham the following month.
Mega Fortune was third to Landofhopenandglory in December and I think that horse has a big chance here at even bigger odds. Trained by the getting-better-looking-by-the-day Joseph O’Brien he was a very classy Flat horse before giving National Hunt a go.
From that win in December he was second on Boxing Day at Leopardstown to Bapaume when giving away weight and then met with awful ground at Fairyhouse when finishing back in third.
This is a classy animal and he’ll get his ground on Friday to make things a whole lot easier. At double figure odds he looks well worth supporting in the Friday opener.