2016 Cheltenham Festival ante post plays: Connetable value to Triumph
David Metcalf | February 23, 2016
Connetable ticks all the right boxes in Triumph Hurdle
This year’s renewal of the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival has a wide open look to it, and Connetable looks cracking value at 12/1 with Coral in the ante post market for this 2m contest on Friday, March 18th.
The gelding had some useful form to his name in France when under the care of Guillaume Macaire, and shaped with bags of promise on his UK debut for champion trainer Paul Nicholls when runner-up at Ascot.
After racing close up, Connetable was ridden to challenge at the last and stayed on well without being unduly knocked about to be beaten 1 3/4 lengths by Gibralfaro.
It was a cracking effort against a race fit rival, especially given that it was Connetable’s first run seven months.
Sandown success looks solid form
The four-year-old then showed the benefit of that outing when beating Rayvin Black in a Listed contest at Sandown when last seen in action.
Connetable held a narrow lead approaching the last, but an extravagant jump saw him joined on the landing side.
However, the son of Saint De Saints then showed a willing attitude to dig deep and assert in the final 75 yards to score with a bit more in hand than the winning margin of a neck suggests.
Although Connetable was in receipt of 10lb from the runner-up, Rayvin Black is one of the toughest horse in training and the form looks strong.
Rayvin Black had previously been beaten just over two lengths by Champion Hurdle hope The New One in a Grade 2 contest at Haydock, and has since Sandown has gone on to land the Grade 2 Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton by five lengths.
Smart performance for one so inexperienced
In the circumstances, it was a terrific performance by the inexperienced Connetable to beat such a battle hardened and classy performer.
Connetable is also entitled to improve significantly for that run, and five of the last seven runnings of the Triumph have been won by French imports.
Another plus is that Nicholls knows what is required to win the race. The Ditcheat handler saddled Celestial Halo and Zarkandar to success in 2008 and 2011 respectively.
In Connetable, Nicholls looks to have an exciting prospect with the ideal attributes to provide him with a third winner of the Grade 1 juvenile contest that opens Cheltenham Gold Cup day.
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Coral’s ante post play: Connetable each-way at 12/1 in the Triumph Hurdle.