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Cheltenham

  • 13:30 JCB Triumph Hurdle 2m 1f

  • (Juvenile Grade 1) £120,000 added 4yo 15 ran
  • Winner £68,340 2nd £25,644 3rd £12,840 4th £6,396
  • Going: Good, Good to Soft in places
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 4m 1.10s
  • Off time: 13:31:35

John Ferguson is hoping Broughton can reward his faith in the Triumph Hurdle

Last Updated: 13/03/14 1:16pm

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John Ferguson: Pleased with Broughton ahead of the JCB Triumph Hurdle

John Ferguson: Pleased with Broughton ahead of the JCB Triumph Hurdle

Broughton will try to put his Flat speed to good use as he lines up in Friday's JCB Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham.

The four-year-old counts a Glorious Goodwood handicap among his three wins on the level for Mark Johnston and he has made a fine start to his hurdling career with John Ferguson.

Beaten just a head on his debut in a Doncaster Grade Two, he recorded a five-length triumph in Listed company at Musselburgh last time and Ferguson is more than satisfied with his preparations as he seeks a first Festival winner.

"He's been working well and I'm delighted with him," said the Suffolk handler.

"He obviously ran well at Doncaster first time to finish second in a Grade Two and then ran well again to win a Listed race at Musselburgh.

"He appears to be in good shape and has been doing everything right at home.

"He loves jumping his hurdles and was a good horse on the Flat, so it's fingers crossed.

"He had good ground at Doncaster, which is why I waited for it again at Musselburgh.

"The progeny of Teofilo love fast ground on the Flat and the faster the ground, the more speed he can show."

John Quinn won the race in 2012 with Countrywide Flame and fields two fancied runners in Pearl Castle and Rutherglen.

Pearl Castle has won two of his three starts over hurdles, with his most recent victory coming under a penalty at Doncaster last month on ground that was probably a touch softer than ideal for a dual Flat winner.

Rutherglen is three from three over hurdles and rounded off his Festival preparations with victory in a jumpers' bumper at Kempton, beating Clerk's Choice, who was beaten 12 lengths in the Coral Cup on Wednesday.

Quinn said: "The ground will be fine for both of them. They are both likeable horses and they will have to improve a bit, but that's not to say they won't.

"Pearl Castle will appreciate the better ground, I wouldn't have run him on soft ground.

"He's done nothing wrong and it was a good bit softer than he would have liked last time and he still won under a penalty.

"Rutherglen is very tough which is a good quality to have. He's done nothing wrong either, he's won three times and I'm happy with both of them.

"You couldn't really compare them with Countrywide Flame at this stage, but they are two very nice horses."

Calipto has long been towards the head of the betting, with two Newbury wins, including a comprehensive dismissal of subsequent Adonis winner Activial, on his CV.

Trainer Paul Nicholls said: "He won an all-aged hurdle with a 10lb penalty at Newbury and he couldn't do more than he has done so far.

"He jumps and travels well. He's not a Flat-bred horse and hasn't run on the Flat but he's a nice horse and he goes there with a chance."

Guitar Pete won the Grade One Spring Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown last time and he clashes again with Tiger Roll and Plinth, who filled the minor places that day.

He also finished behind the reopposing Royal Irish Hussar at Cheltenham back in November but trainer Dessie Hughes believes he is a better horse now.

"He maybe hasn't got the credit he deserved. He was beat the first day, won at Listowel and then went to Cheltenham, but I think he's improved since then," said Hughes.

"He was quite impressive at Leopardstown and I think he's improved since then. He has every chance."

Gordon Elliott has no qualms about taking on Guitar Pete again but is unsure how his charge will measure up against the rest of the field.

He told At The Races: "Tiger Roll is a horse that doesn't do a lot at home but the couple of runs that we have given him have been very good.

"You would certainly like it if he had a bit more experience for a race like the Triumph Hurdle but I'd say he is not a bad horse.

"I wouldn't be afraid to be taking on Guitar Pete who beat him at Leopardstown the last day again, but I don't know about the rest of them.

"There could be something else there to beat him but I think he could be the best of the Irish."

Willie Mullins has not won the race since sending out Scolardy to record a 16-1 shock back in 2002.

He fields Abbyssial and Adriana Des Mottes this time, with the former having won each of his three starts for Mullins, beating his stablemate in a Fairyhouse Grade Two on his most recent outing.

The trainer told www.wpmullins.com: "Abbyssial came to us from France and made a winning debut for us in a Fairyhouse maiden hurdle just before Christmas.

"He then won at Gowran Park from stablemate Noble Inn a month later in good style which I felt merited a raise in class.

"Last time out back at Fairyhouse he won the Grade Two Winning Fair Juvenile Hurdle from another stablemate Adriana Des Mottes.

"I was pleased with his recent win which looks good."

Adriana Des Mottes, who sports the colours of Susannah and Rich Ricci, is the only filly in the field and gets a 7lb allowance.

Mullins said: "She showed ability in three runs at Auteuil before coming to us in the autumn.

"I wasn't at all surprised when she made a winning debut over hurdles for us at Punchestown on New Year's Eve as she had worked well beforehand.

"She was then beaten half a length into second by Abbyssial at Fairyhouse last month but that form looks pretty good so I had to be happy with that effort."

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