Triumph Hurdle 2023 Trends
2023 Triumph Hurdle Trends
The last 10 winners:
- Finished in the first four on their last run, seven winning, including the last four
- Finished in the first two in one of their last three starts
- Last ran over hurdles, no more than 48 days ago, i.e. in late January or early February
- Had won all outings at Cheltenham, if they had run at the course before
- Had run up to five times over hurdles - six were unbeaten, including the last three of the last four
Nine of the last 10 winners:
- Were not fillies, despite 13 female runners, including a Spring Juvenile Hurdle winner (exception Burning Victory)
- Last ran in a Grade 1 or Grade 2 hurdle race (exception won maiden hurdle)
Key Trials in the last 10 years
- Six of the last 10 winners last ran in the Grade 1 Spring Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown in early February (Quilixios, Farclas, Ivanovich Gorbatov, Tiger Roll, Our Conor and Vauban). However only Quilixios, Our Conor and Vauban won that race before Festival glory, and every Spring Juvenile Hurdle winner in the last 12 years has run in the Triumph next. Four of them have been placed, and a further four Triumph placings were filled by other Spring Juvenile runners. Gala Marceau won the trial in 2023.
- The Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow in December is another Grade 1 contest that attracts some of the best juveniles, like 2016 winner Defi Du Seuil. 2019 and 2021 winners Allmankind and Adagio were placed in the Triumph the same year, but the 2021 winner could only finish sixth. The Joseph O'Brien-trained Comfort Zone won the Finale in 2022.
- The Grade 3 Triumph Hurdle Trial at Cheltenham in January has produced two winners (Defi Du Seuil and Peace And Co). Finale winner Comfort Zone won this race in 2023.
- Kempton’s Grade 2 Adonis Hurdle in late February has been won by some brilliant juveniles but it has not produced a Triumph Hurdle winner since Zarkandar in 2011.
- 2020 winner Burning Victory won the Grade 3 Winning Fair Juvenile Hurdle at Fairyhouse in February before her Festival success.
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- Nicky Henderson boasts a massive 25% strike rate in the Grade 1, having saddled three winners and four placed horses from only 12 runners. In 2015 he had the 1-2-3!
- Philip Hobbs has won the race three times since the turn of the century, most recently with Defi Du Seuil in 2017.
- Gordon Elliott boasts an 18% strike rate in the Triumph Hurdle, having saddled two winners and four placed horses from just 11 runners.
- Willie Mullins first won the race in 2002, and did not saddle another winner until 2020, but followed up in 2022 and has now saddled two winners and a placed runner from seven runners.
- Seven of the last 10 winners were trained in Ireland.
With five-time winner Barry Geraghty now retired, Paul Townend has taken over as the jockey to follow, with two wins in the last three renewals for trainer Willie Mullins.
How did the trends do last year?
- Vauban was a text-book trends pick having won one of the best trials, the Grade 1 Spring Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown's Dublin Racing Festival.
He was not unbeaten, but had never been out of the first two over hurdles and lined up off the back of a recent run, ready to confirm his superiority in the juvenile hurdle ranks.
- Second Fil Dor had finished second to Vauban at Leopardstown also, so confirmed form, and was again second to him at Punchestown in April.
- Third Pied Piper had won the Cheltenham trial noted in the key trials above and was unbeaten in two runs over hurdles for Gordon Elliott, making him a strong trends pick, but not quite as strong as the Spring Juvenile winner.
- Fourth Icare Allen had also won a useful trial, the Winning Fair Juvenile Hurdle at Fairyhouse, but showed himself not up to scratch when previously fifth in the Spring Juvenile.
- Fifth Il Etait Temps had been third in the Spring Juvenile, but was not a trends pick as he was a maiden, while sixth Porticello had won the Chepstown trial, and followed up in a Haydock event, but had to be over-looked on trends in favour of those who had performed in stronger trials.
- Three-time Grade 2 winner Knight Salute was the only other runner amongst the remaining seven horses that fit the trends. He finished ninth.
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Who Fits The Trends Best In 2023?
Despite defeat in key trial the Spring Juvenile Hurdle, the Willie Mullins-trained Lossiemouth does fit the trends well, though the big negative is that she is a filly.
A total of 13 fillies have run in the Triumph Hurdle in the last 10 years, eight of them trained by Mullins, and only his Burning Victory has won. Apple's Jade is the only other filly in the last decade to finish in the first three.
Spring Juvenile winner Gala Marceau, Lossiemouth's stablemate, is also a filly, but would be a slightly stronger trends pick having won the key trial, and consequently won her final race before Cheltenham.
If the winner is going to come from Leopardstown, the trends say it is more likely to be third-placed Tekao, a gelding, who gave Mullins a clean sweep of the podium in the Grade 1.
However, the strongest pick on trends currently is Cheltenham trial winner Comfort Zone, who beat Tekao soundly in a maiden hurdle and has now won two key trials.
He has plenty of experience and hails from the Ireland-based yard of Joseph O'Brien.
2022 Triumph Hurdle Result
Cheltenham Festival 2023 Trends
Cheltenham Festival Day One Trends
Cheltenham Festival Day Two Trends
Cheltenham Festival Day Three Trends
Cheltenham Festival Day Four Trends
Jessica Lamb is one of Bookmakers.com's racing expert. As a multi-media journalist also specialising is cycling and athletics, she has worked on news desks at the Racing Post and Irish Sun as well as providing content for professional sports teams, national sports governing bodies and Boylesports.