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Cheltenham

  • 12:40 JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial 2m 1f

  • (Registered As The Finesse Juvenile Hurdle) (Grade 2) £30,000 added 4yo 6 ran
  • Winner £17,085 2nd £6,411 3rd £3,210 4th £1,599
  • Going: Heavy, Soft in places
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 4m 27.30s
  • Off time: 12:40:42

Full result

12:40 Cheltenham Result 25th January 2014
Pos Draw Dist Horse Weight Jockey Trainer Age SP
1st Le Rocher (FR) 11-7 R Johnson Nick Williams 4 2/1
Keen early, tracked leader, mistake 2nd, challenged 2 out, led narrowly between last 2, ridden and stayed on well to forge clear flat opened 5/2 touched 5/2 £1250-£500
2nd 10 Kentucky Hyden (IRE) 11-7 B J Geraghty N J Henderson 4 15/2
Tracked leaders, mistake 2nd, pushed along 3 out, challenged on outside 2 out, kept on same pace approaching last, ridden and went 2nd flat, no impression opened 15/2 touched 15/2
3rd 5 Vicenzo Mio (FR) 11-7 D A Jacob P F Nicholls 4 11/10f
Led, headed narrowly between last 2, kept on approaching last, ridden and no impression in 3rd flat opened 5/4 touched 5/4 £1100-£800 £825-£600 £550-£400 £2500-£2000(x2) £500-£400
4th 7 Ballyglasheen (IRE) 11-7 Paul Moloney Evan Williams 4 25/1
Tracked leaders, mistake and lost place 4th, behind after 3 out, stayed on under pressure approaching last, took modest 4th flat, no chance with leaders opened 22/1 touched 25/1
5th Ronaldinho (IRE) 11-0 W Hutchinson A King 4 33/1
Held up mainly in 5th, chased leaders approaching 2 out, outpaced in 4th soon after, no chance with front trio between last 2, lost modest 4th flat opened 33/1 touched 33/1
6th 37 Goodwood Mirage (IRE) 11-4 A P McCoy Jonjo O'Neill 4 9/1
Took keen hold, held up in rear, headway when not fluent 2 out, soon beaten, weakened before last, tailed off opened 6/1 touched 10/1

Betting breakdown

Tote Win: £3.10 Tote Place: £2.00,2.70
Straight Forecast: £15.71 Exacta: £13.20 Trifecta: £19.90 Swingers: 1&2:2.30 2&3:3.20 1&3:1.10

Jackpot: £28,895.72 carried forward to Leopardstown, 26th Jan
Placepot: £727.90, Pool: £261034.02, 261.77 winning tickets
Quadpot: £71.10, Pool: £16896.31, 175.73 winning tickets

Verdict

Vicenzo Mio was backed as though defeat was out of the question having left the form of his British debut behind with a bloodless success in a Kempton maiden under a change of tactics. He was given a positive ride once again but appeared to be found out in this stronger contest as LE ROCHER confirmed the impression that he had made when winning the Grade One Finale Hurdle at Chepstow. Although the favourite obviously hasn't lived up to expectations thus far, he clearly shows up well at home and, perhaps, it's no coincidence that his two below expectations runs have come at this venue. Le Rocher should also continue to progress and rates a smart prospect although it remains to be seen whether he can prove as effective under faster conditions in the spring. His hurdling still leaves something to be desired but there's no doubting his ability and he powered clear of some useful yardsticks to mark himself down as one of the leading juveniles in the country. Connections are more than happy to head to hunting grounds other than Cheltenham in March and that is no doubt factored into his price for the Triumph Hurdle along with the concerns regarding the ground. Kentucky Hyden was just over two lengths behind him in Wales and appears to have run to form which is a measure of the improvement that Le Rocher has made; the Fred Winter would appear the obvious race for the runner-up although others may well be better handicapped. He had finished behind Ballyglasheen here in December but the latter never looked like confirming the form and didn't look happy from an early stage; he may well have found the ground too testing. That may also have been the case for Goodwood Mirage who compromised his chance by refusing to settle on this step up in class; he can be given another chance to confirm the impression of his debut win. Ronaldinho was not disgraced in the face of a stiff task and should be capable of winning at a more modest level.