Connetable to call the shots in Triumph Hurdle
David Metcalf | March 16, 2016
Connetable can Triumph for Nicholls
Connetable has a progressive profile and can provide trainer Paul Nicholls with a third success in the Triumph Hurdle which opens proceedings on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival (13.30).
The gelding had some useful form to his name in France, and shaped with bags of promise on UK debut for the Ditcheat handler when a 3/4 length runner-up to Gibralfaro at Ascot.
It was a cracking effort against a race fit rival, especially given that it was Connetable’s first run for seven months.
Lots to like about Sandown success
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, and then showed a tremedous attitude to dig deep and 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 as he has gone on to land a Grade 2 contest by five lengths.
In the cirumstances, it was a terrific performance by the inexperienced Connetable to beat such a battle-hardened and classy performer and the son of Saints Des Saints look to have all the right atrobutes for this Grade 1 contest.
Ivanovich Gorbatov the pick of the Irish
Aidan O’Brien, best known at The Festival for his handling of three-time Champion Hurdle victor Istabraq, has a lively contender in the shape Ivanovich Gorbatov.
Owned like Istabraq by JP McManus, the four-year-old looked an exciting prospect when winning his hurdles debut at Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting.
Ivanovich Gorbatov travelled strongly throughout and, after challenging on the bridle at the last, showed a smart turn of foot on the run-in to easily beat Let’s Dance by just over two lengths.
Good ground a big plus
It was a most taking performance, but Ivanovich Gorbatov failed to build on it last time out at the same venue when only fourth in a Grade 1 when sent off odds-on.
Connections believe the heavy ground was against him, and it would be no surprise to see Ivanovich Grobatov bounce back and confirm the good impression he made on his bow now that the going has come in his favour.
Coral’s top tip: Connetable looks a smart prospect and worth a wager to provide trainer Paul Nicholls with his third winner of the race. Ivanovich Gorbatov can chase him home.