Cheltenham Festival: How Fil Dor can reverse the form with Vauban in the Triumph Hurdle

Fil Dor's got three lengths to find with Vauban...

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The Triumph Hurdle was the subject of discussion on the latest episode of our Punters’ Panel podcast series as the hype continues to build ahead of next month’s Cheltenham Festival.

Fil Dor was the long-time antepost favourite but Gordon Elliott’s charge has slipped down Paddy Power’s Non Runner Money Back market after a 3l defeat to Vauban in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival. He’s also behind stablemate Pied Piper in the early betting, who narrowly beat Vauban at Leopardstown on New Year’s Eve.

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The big talking point was how Fil Dor can reverse the form with Vauban at Cheltenham, as a member of the Punters’ Panel previously placed an antepost punt on Gordon Elliott’s charge.

While Paddy’s resident jockey-turned-pundit Ruby Walsh and superstar trader Frank Hickey reckon it’ll be hard for Fil Dor to turn the tables on Willie Mullins’ prospect, our dynamic duo detailed how a change of order could come about. You can listen to the show in full BELOW.

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Ruby Walsh:

“Of course it’s plausible that Fil Dor can reverse the form with Vauban. A stronger pace would suit Fil Dor. It definitely suited Vauban that it was a decent gallop without being a strong gallop at Leopardstown and that the turn of foot came into play.

“The Triumph is a stiffer contest on the New Course and Fil Dor is a pretty strong stayer. He made a mistake at the last as well which didn’t help his chance.

“It’s feasible that Fil Dor can reverse the form with Vauban but is it likely? Probably not as likely as I thought before the Dublin Racing Festival but a stronger test at Cheltenham will definitely suit.”

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Frank Hickey:

“If you’ve got a really hearty run race – like the 2010 renewal when Barizan bolted off in front and Soldatino ran him down – and the ground is soft or even more testing then you’d have a chance of Fil Dor turning it around.

“If it’s more of a speed test then I can’t see him reversing with Vauban or beating Pied Piper.”

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