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Guitar Pete cut to 8-1 as 45 remain in Triumph Hurdle

There are 45 horses remaining in the Triumph Hurdle with Fox Norton being the most notable absentee. Le Rocher and Calipto are 6-1 joint-favourites with leading Irish hope Guitar Pete a strong third favourite at 8-1.

Guitar Pete jumped superbly to win a Grade 1 race at Leopardstown earlier this month, beating Ivan Grozny and Plinth in the process. Guitar Pete eventually won by two and a quarter lengths from Tiger Roll who could also line up at Cheltenham.

Guitar Pete appeared to have his limitations exposed when second to Royal Irish Hussar at Cheltenham in November but has clearly improved since. The winner flopped when only third at Doncaster next time out but could still represent Nicky Henderson.

Tiger Roll is one of four entries for Gigginstown House Stud along with Clarcam, Halling’s Treasure and Powder Hound. Willie Mullins has six entries including Ivan Grozny and Adriana Des Mottes.

Ivan Grozny disappointed connections at Leopardstown and Adriana Des Mottes could yet develop into the yard’s main fancy in the race. The French import won by 18 lengths at Punchestown with Ruby Walsh able to ease him down on the run-in.

Le Rocher has been favourite for the race since winning the Triumph Hurdle Trial last month. That followed victory in a Grade 1 race at Chepstow in December, beating Kentucky Hyden on both occasions.

Newbury scorer Calipto is on course for the race following two comfortable victories at Newbury. Trainer Paul Nicholls may also run Alcala who takes his chance at Kempton on Saturday.

John Ferguson’s Broughton impressed many with his fluent victory at Musselburgh last time out. He had shown promise on his debut at Doncaster, going down by just a head to Fox Norton with Royal Irish Hussar well held in third.

He was a decent performer on the flat for Mark Johnston, winning at Ripon, Chester and Goodwood in the summer. Pearl Castle won at Doncaster yesterday despite a slight mistake at the third last and is currently priced at 12-1.