The 2 mile 179 yard Triumph Hurdle is perhaps the most prestigious novice hurdles event at the Cheltenham Festival. Entry is restricted to 4-year-olds and there are eight hurdles to be jumped in the race.
Despite being run over the same distance as the Champion Hurdle, surprisingly few winners of the Triumph Hurdle have gone on to win Cheltenham's 2 mile hurdles championship. However, a number of recent winners have gone on to win other prestigious Grade 1 hurdles titles.
Triumph Hurdle trends
Upsets are the norm in the Triumph Hurdle. While the market tends to be quite conservative in pricing the favourites, only one antepost favourite has won in the last five years while two winners were priced over 10/1. In fact the antepost favourite only managed to place once in the four races won by outsiders.
Form counts in the Triumph Hurdle, with three of the last five winners claiming victory in their prior race, while the other two placed in a Grade 1 last time out.
The Spring Juvenile Hurdle at Punchestown has emerged as an important trial race. Spring Juvenile winners have won or finished second in the Triumph Hurdle in three of the four races they have competed in. Meanwhile, horses that placed in the Spring Juvenile won two of the four Triumph Hurdle races they participarted in since 2011.
2016 Triumph Hurdle field
Ivanovich Gorbatov has emerged as the antepost favourite for the Triumph Hurdle. Our trends indicate that he shouldn't have this spot, as he finished 4th in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle last time out. His popularity is based on his performances earlier in the season when he strung together consecutive wins.
Sceau Royal looks a better option, as he heads to Cheltenham on the back of three consecutive wins, two of which he took by comfortable margins. With one of those wins achieved in a Triumph Hurdle trial at Cheltenham he's given a good indication of what he can do and he's a good each-way option at 7/1 at Coral.
But the horse who stands out in the field is Footpad, who won the Spring Juvenile Hurdle by just under 3 lengths and has won three of his four races this season. Best of all bookies are offering him as high as 12/1, which means you can still earn a good return off each-way bets if he only places in the Triumph Hurdle.