Cheltenham Festival: 3 things learned at the weekend as Tritonic a Triumph Hurdle threat

Timeform's Tony McFadden highlights three talking points from the weekend ahead of the Cheltenham Festival and Grand National.

Tritonic Timeform

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Tritonic is a big player in the Triumph

The Adonis Juvenile Hurdle is a noted trial for the Triumph Hurdle and last Saturday’s renewal looks significant with the Cheltenham Festival in mind. Tritonic was a hugely impressive ten-length winner at Kempton and the Timeform rating of 144p that he earned is the highest given to a juvenile this season. It is narrowly better than what Quilixios (143p) and Zanahiyr (141p) have achieved on ratings so Tritonic is understandably considered a leading player for the Triumph Hurdle, for which he was cut to 3/1 (from 8/1).

Part of Tritonic’s appeal is the high level of ability he showed on the Flat, with his useful efforts including a gallant second in the Golden Gates Handicap at Royal Ascot. Not many horses with Tritonic’s talent go juvenile hurdling and he has made an excellent start over obstacles, winning at Ascot before showing improved form to follow up at Kempton. He adds further spice to an exciting renewal of the Triumph.

Teahupoo could be one for the Boodles

Teahupoo is another unbeaten juvenile who could have the Triumph Hurdle on his agenda but, given that Gordon Elliott also has Zanahiyr and Quilixios earmarked for that Grade 1, it might make more sense to target the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle. Teahupoo has been handed an opening mark of 138 by the Irish handicapper and he would be of interest if given a similar rating by the British assessor.

Teahupoo, a winner on his only outing in France, was arguably fortunate to score on his first start for this yard at Fairyhouse last month as the odds-on favourite was still travelling strongly when coming down at the last. There was no doubting his superiority on Saturday, however, as he scooted seven lengths clear of inferior rivals in a steadily-run race. He has not yet shown the ceiling of his ability and has plenty of long-term potential.

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Burrows Saint takes an encouraging step towards Aintree

Burrows Saint had to settle for second behind stablemate Acapella Bourgeois in the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse on Saturday but that was an encouraging effort with the Grand National in mind. Burrows Saint had been well held on both starts over hurdles this season but he took a big step forward back over fences, on what was just his third chase start since winning the 2019 Irish Grand National.

Burrows Saint jumped well in the main and was briefly upsides at the third-last but was unable to sustain the effort as well as his talented stablemate Acapella Bourgeois. Burrows Saint has shown the pick of his form on less testing ground and could yet do better when encountering a sounder surface in the spring. He is one to have high on the shortlist for the Grand National.

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