Cheltenham Festival 2015: Triumph Hurdle preview (13:30)
Peace And Co has looked a superstar in winning his two starts since joining trainer Nicky Henderson, and looks a worthy favourite to win Triumph Hurdle (13:30).
This gelding joined Henderson after winning on his French debut at Clairefontaine, and looked something out of the ordinary when strolling to a facile success in the Grade 2 Summit Novices’ Hurdle at Doncaster.
The four-year-old jumped superbly throughout the 2m contest, and 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 stunning performances I have seen from a juvenile hurdler for a long time, and Peace And Co has subsequently followed up in decisive fashion when landing a Grade 2 contest at this venue by three lengths, despite being unsuited by a slow early gallop.
With the Triumph usually run at a frenetic pace which will suit Peace And Co far better, the strapping son of Falco looks to hold outstanding claims of providing Henderson with his sixth winner of the 2m contest.
The biggest danger to him may well be the unbeaten Beltor.
Trained by Robert Stephens, the gelding scored in good style on debut at Ludlow before running out and ultra-impressive winner of the Adonis Hurdle at Kempton.
Beltor made mincemeat of his eight rivals in the Grade 2 contest and the manner of that success oozed class.
The four-year-old raced keenly in the early stages and was still pulling hard three from home, before making smooth headway to take up the lead two out.
Beltor then showed an impressive turn of foot to scoot clear under a hands and heels ride from jockey Tom O’Brien, and beat All Yours by five lengths.
The Adonis has proved a key Cheltenham trial, with three winners in the last 10 years going on to secure victory in this race, and Beltor looks a massive player for his young trainer.