Hargam holds all the aces in Triumph Hurdle Trial
Hargam shaped with bags of promise when runner-up on debut and can go one better to land the JCB Trimuph Hurdle Trial at Cheltenham today (12.15).
The gelding had useful form on the level in France when trained by Alain De Royer Dupre and put in a highly promising run on debut for Nicky Henderson when a 3/4 length runner-up to Golden Doyen over course and distance last month.
The three-year-old travelled strongly throughout the contest but was a bit slow at a couple of hurdles and got worried out of it close home.
However, it was a very encouraging effort against a race fit rival who had hurdling experience in what looked a hot contest.
Hargham is sure to strip much fitter for that outing and be far more streetwise this afternoon, and receives a handy 7lb from his main rival on paper, Stars Over The Sea.
The son of Sinndar is currently a 14/1 co-second favourite with with Coral for the Triumph Hurdle next March, and in receipt of weight has to win this to justify his lofty position in the market.
The aforementioned Stars Over The Sea looks the obvious danger despite having to shoulder a penalty.
The gelding was useful on the flat and has quickly achieved a similar level over hurdles by winning both his starts since joining the powerful David Pipe yard.
Stars Over The Sea won with consumate ease on debut at Kempton despite uprooting nearly half the flights, and followed up with a runaway 22 lengths success at Ludlow last month.
The son of the brilliant Sea The Stars was again far from fluent at the obstacles, but clearly has a huge engine and a big future if he can brush up his hurdling technique.
However, this is by far the biggest task Stars Over The Sea has faced and he won’t get away with costly errors in what is a hot looking contest.
Hargam also arguably brings the stronger form to the table, and I fully expect him to take this and confirm his status as a leading contender for the 2015 Triumph Hurdle.