Henderson duo impress in Triumph Hurdle trials
Trainer Nicky Henderson has won the Triumph Hurdle five times and looks to have two exciting contenders for the 2015 running of the 2m juvenile contest at the Cheltenham Festival in the shape of French imports Hargam and Peace And Co.
Hargam had shaped with plenty of promise when runner-up on debut and showed the benefit of that experience when going one better to land the the JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial at Cheltenham in gutsy fashion.
The three-year-old was held-up off the pace by AP McCoy before gradually creeping into the contest and being produced to challenge at the last.
Hargam then quickly took up the running, but had to be driven right out by the champion jockey to get the better of Karezak by 1 1/4 lengths.
The son of Sinndar showed a good attitude to get the job done on sticky and testing going which was from from ideal, and with his handler believes better ground will see him in a far better light.
There was certainly plenty to like about the performance, and the form has a solid look as the first two pulled 29 lengths clear of the third home Stars Over The Sea who had won his previous two starts in effortless style.
Coral reacted by initially cutting Hargam to 10/1 (from 14s) for the Triumph Hurdle, but later eased him out to 12/1 following a breathtaking performance from his stable companion Peace And Co at Doncaster.
The strapping son of Falco joined Henderson after winning on debut at Clairefontaine, and looked something out of the ordinary when strolling to a facile success in the Grade 2 Summit Novices’ Hurdle.
Peace And Co jumped superbly throughout the 2m contest, and after taking up the running at the fourth pulled clear on the bridle two from home to win by 19 lengths.
Jockey Daryl Jacob didn’t have to move a muscle, and Peace And Co won in the style of a horse with a massive engine.
It was one of the most electric performances I have seen from a juvenile hurdler for a long, long time, and not surprisingly Peace And Co was all the rage for the Triumph as soon as he passed the post in splendid isolation.
Coral introduced Peace And Co into the betting at 6/1, but that was quickly snapped up and he is now 5/1 joint-favourite with the Willie Mullins’ trained Kalkir.
To me Peace And Co deserves to be clear favourite, and with the prospect of plenty improvement to come he is going to be very tough to beat next March if progressing as expected.