Beltor emerges as major Triumph Hurdle contender
Beltor put himself firmly in line for a crack at the Triumph Hurdle when running out the ultra-impressive winner of the Adonis Hurdle at Kempton, and there are plenty of reasons to suggest he will be a major player in the 2m juvenile contest.
Trained by Robert Stephens, this gelding made mincemeat of his eight rivals in the Grade 2 contest to make it two out of two over the obstacles, and the manner of his success oozed class.
The four-year-old raced keenly in the early stages and was still pulling hard three from home before making smooth headway to take up the lead two out.
Beltor then showed an impressive turn of foot to scoot clear under a hands and heels ride from jockey Tom O’Brien and beat All Yours by five lengths.
The son of Authorized was value for much more than the winning margin, and on a line through the third home Bivouac is closely matched with current Triumph favourite Peace And Co.
Bivouac had been beaten 14 1/2 lengths by Peace And Co when fifth on his previous start at Cheltenham, holding every chance until making a bad mistake at the final flight and fading badly in the last 120 yards.
Beltor beat Bivouac by 14 lengths in the Adonis, and although he recived 3lb from that rival won with tons in hand without being asked a serious question.
That suggests that Beltor, who was cut to 8/1 (from 50s) by Coral after the Adonis won’t have to find much to be a big contender in the Triumph on Friday, March 13th.
The Adonis has also proved a key Cheltenham trial, with three winners in the last 10 years going on to secure victory in the Triumph.
Another plus is that the Triumph is usually run at a break-neck gallop which should help Beltor to settle better and, if that proves to be the case, it’s hard no to see him being involved at the business end of affairs for his young, up-and-coming handler.