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2022 Triumph Hurdle Tips - Ante-post guide to the opener on Gold Cup day

08 Feb 2022
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Jon Vine 08 Feb 2022
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  • Ante-post tips and odds for the 2022 Triumph Hurdle
  • This Grade One takes place on day four of the Cheltenham Festival on Friday 18th March 2022
  • Pied Piper and Fil Dor will run for Gordon Elliott
  • Vauban and Il Etait Temps feature in our betting tips
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vauban
Vauban (right) stretches clear of Fil Dor to win the Spring Juvenile Hurdle. (Getty)

Gold Cup day at the Cheltenham Festival gets off to a flyer, as the best juveniles in the sport take part in the Triumph Hurdle. This two miles contest has been won by many excellent horses, including four-time Cheltenham Festival winner and two-time Grand National hero Tiger Roll, who won the Triumph as a four-year-old back in 2014.

In the latest article in our 2022 Cheltenham Festival tips series, I’ve take a look through the ante-post betting for the Triumph Hurdle and picked out my best betting tips.
    Table Of Contents
  • 2022 Triumph Hurdle Odds
  • The Top Three
  • Irish Raiders
  • Home Challenge
  • 2022 Triumph Hurdle Best Bet - Vauban
  • 2022 Triumph Hurdle Value Bet – Il Etait Temps

2022 Triumph Hurdle Odds


Name
Odds
Pied Piper9/4
Vauban9/4
Fil Dor8/1
Poricello12/1
Knight Salute14/1
Bar20/1

*Odds taken on 8/2/22*

The Top Three


Pied Piper & Vauban2022 Triumph Hurdle Joint-FavouritesGET 9/4 HERE
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For the majority of the season, the Triumph betting has been dominated by Fil Dor. Gordon Elliott’s recruit burst onto the scene with three easy hurdles victories in a row, including a seven-length triumph in the Frank Knight Juvenile Hurdle over Christmas. Fil Dor put his unbeaten record on the line at the Dublin Racing Festival, but couldn’t match the finishing burst produced by Vauban and had to settle for second.

A listed winner on the flat in France, Vauban was beaten on his first hurdles start in Ireland by Pied Piper. Willie Mullins’ star then showed an excellent turn of foot to beat Fil Dor in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle this weekend and jumped ahead of Gordon Elliott’s runner in the Triumph betting.

Pied Pier, who reached a rating of 90 during his time on the flat with John Gosden, claimed his Graded prize on Cheltenham Trials Day. Gordon Elliott’s raider was slightly weak at the head of the market that day, but handed his English rivals a sound thrashing, bolting up without ever coming out of first gear. Pied Piper immediately jumped to the top of the Triumph Hurdle market following that victory, and it will be interesting to see who goes off as the favourite between himself and Vauban.

Irish Raiders

In Interviews, Patrick Mullins has highlighted Gaelic Warrior as a name for punters to follow on a couple of occasions. His last mention lead to Gaelic Warrior being backed into favouritism for the Boodles on day one, despite a record of two thirds and a six from his three starts in France.

Lunar Power has twice finished second to Fil Dor in Graded races this season, having beaten some decent sorts on his first start over hurdles. Noel Meade won the Boodles with Jeff Kidder last season and could be eyeing a tilt at that handicap, with Lunar Power likely to be handed a decent mark by the British handicapper.

Gavin Cromwell could be targeting the Boodles with White Pepper, who’s won two good races at home in Ireland, only to finish third on both her outings on British soil. Gordon Elliott could run both The Tide Turns and Britzka in the Triumph but, again, given he already has two outstanding candidates the top the market, both are more likely to go for the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle

Il Etait Temps stayed on from the rear to finish third behind Vauban and Fil Dor on his stable debut in the Spring Juvenile, and he could join stablemate Vauban in the field. As could Icare AllenVadaly and Feigh, who’ve all been handed Triumph entries by Willie Mullins.

knight salute
Paddy Brennan riding Knight Salute (yellow cap) clear the last to win The JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle at Cheltenham. (Getty)

Home Challenge

Leading the home challenge is Gary Moore’s Porticello, who ran out a convincing winner of the Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Aintree over Christmas. The Triumph Hurdle brings back bad memories for the Moore’s, after Goshen’s final flight exit a couple of years ago. A revenge mission could be on the cards, but Gary Moore did mention after Doncaster that the team would most likely target the Grade One at Aintree, rather than take on the Irish at Cheltenham.

Milton Harris’ Knight Salute is the only horse to have beaten Porticello, having gotten the better of his rival when they met in the Summit Juvenile Hurdle at Doncaster. Milton Harris’ juvenile is four-from-four over hurdles and ran out a good winner of the Prestbury Juvenile Hurdle at Cheltenham earlier in the season, so it would be a surprise if he didn’t take up his Triumph Hurdle entry.

Former flat racer, Doctor Parnassus is two from two over hurdles and could replace In This World, who has been ruled out of Cheltenham, as Dan Skelton’s Triumph horse. The next five British runners in the betting are all yet to run on British soil, having joined the likes of Paul Nicholls, Jonjo O’Neill and Venetia Williams from French connections. This is probably a good indication that the British juveniles we’ve already seen this season are simply not up to the standards set by their Irish counterparts.

2022 Triumph Hurdle Best Bet - Vauban


Vauban2022 Triumph Hurdle Best BetGET 9/4 HERE
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Knight Salute is clearly the most likely of the British challengers and a Grade One runner at the Cheltenham Festival would cap a fantastic season for Milton Harris. On all known form, though, I don’t think Knight Salute has a hope of challenging the Irish, who look a long way clear of the British entrants.

I was worried that quick ground might catch Fil Dor out as Leopardstown and that proved to be the case. Gordon Elliott’s youngster is much more of a stayer than a speedster and he’s clearly better suited to softer ground. The only way I could see him reversing that Dublin Racing Festival form would be if the ground came up soft, which is highly unlikely on day four of the Cheltenham Festival. A decent showing will still be expected from Fil Dor, but I would rather side with the one of the two speedier sorts who sit ahead of him in the betting.

Pied Piper absolutely hammered the Brits on Trials Day and you can understand why the bookmakers ran for cover following that bloodless triumph. Personally, I was expecting Pied Piper to win like that considering the strength of the opposition and I do still have a few misgivings with him on good ground, considering he showed his best flat form on heavy going.

When the pair met on heavy ground at Fairyhouse, Pied Piper got the better for VAUBAN. Willie Mullins’ French recruit was backed into 4/9 before the off, so it was disappointing to see him get beaten. Yet, Vauban only went down by half-a-length that day, and had to change course a couple of times down the stretch as the winner wandered across his path.

I was mightily impressed with Vauban’s win in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle. Paul Townend’s mount travelled comfortably behind the leaders, striking the front approaching the final flight before kicking clear to beat Fil Dor by three lengths. Paul Townend needed to give Vauban one slap on the shoulder for him before the bend for him to hit the front and after a single crack to the hind after jumping the last, Townend knew he had the race in the bag and allowed Vauban to saunter home under hands-and-heels in the closing stages.

Vauban clearly has bundles of ability and I think good ground around the quicker New course will suit him perfectly. He’ll be my number one selection.

2022 Triumph Hurdle Value Bet – Il Etait Temps


Il Etait Temps E/W2022 Triumph Hurdle Value BetGET 20/1 HERE
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Making his debut for Willie Mullins in the Spring Juvenile hurdle was IL ETAIT TEMPS, who ran well in two National Hunt bumpers in Ireland last spring. 

Danny Mullins was forced to drop his mount out the back by a good couple of lengths to try and help him settle early on. Mullins then had to switch from the inside rail to the outside of the pace to try and make ground, and Il Etait Temps looked quite green, wandering noticeably on the run to the second-last.

All eyes were drawn to Vauban rounding the bend as Paul Townend's mount powered to victory. On second viewing, Il Etait Temps also made an eye-catching move on the approach to the final flight, and Danny Mullins' mount ran on well to place third.

Willie Mullins wouldn’t pitch a newcomer straight into Grade One company, especially on his first start over hurdles, if he hadn’t been showing plenty at home. There’s no doubt Il Etait Temps will come on for that first run of the season and he could be the outsider who really serves it up to the top three in the market.
GB

Verdict

The leading trio in the betting could very well fill the first three places and Vauban would be my fancy to come out on top.

Il Etait Temps ran a cracker when third in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle, so I'm also going to back Willie Mullins' second-string at 20/1.

2022 Triumph Hurdle Best Bet: Vauban Straight Win @9/4 at Hollywood bets - 20 Units
2022 Triumph Hurdle ValueBet: Il Etait Temps Each-Way @20/1 at QuinnBet - 5 Units
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18 Mar 2022

2022 Triumph Hurdle