The betting for the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival is likely to be shaken up over the course of this afternoon seeing as the first three in the market put their credentials on the line. First up is MINSK who makes his hurdling debut at Fairyhouse. Much has been said and written about his prospects and he’s yet to jump a flight in public. He was clearly progressive as a three year old as he ended up winning his last three efforts on the level. Only those closest to him probably have an idea how this afternoon will turn out but he probably has to win well enough to hold onto his position at the head of the Cheltenham market. SADLER’S RISK picks up the mantle at Kempton in the graded Adonis Hurdle which has an impressive record of providing the division champion. I am just getting the sense that this year’s group will have to go a fair way to proving that they are as strong a generation as last year’s vintage. With this in mind the race at Cheltenham may end up being surprising uncompetitive with only a handful of runners with a genuine chance of winning the title. As things stand, SADLER’S RISK is my fancy to prevail in March and 6-1 may not be available at close of play this evening. He ran in a classic trial as a three year old and clearly was held in some regard at that stage. Stamina appears to be the long suit seeing that he was usually aggressively ridden on the flat and it is very often a stayer of sorts that wins the Triumph. He probably merits to be considered as one of the contenders for the Cheltenham contest and 6-1 represents a fair bet. GRUMETI probably has a less exacting task by running in the Dovecote hurdle as suggested by the fact that he is an odds on shot to prevail. He’s on a hiding to nothing essentially. If he wins impressively he’ll receive little credit. If he is less than impressive he’ll slide in the Triumph market but this looks an easy grade two for him to be picking up.
Recommended bet: Triumph Hurdle, Cheltenham: Back SADLER’S RISK, Each Way (6-1).