Niall Cronin’s Cheltenham 2019 Tips – Triumph Hurdle
Joseph O’Brien was responsible for Ivanovich Gorbatov winning the Triumph Hurdle here a couple of seasons ago but still awaiting his licence at the time, his father Aidan was credited with the victory.
On Wednesday Joseph added to his Classic win on the Flat, his Irish Gold Cup with Edwulf and of course his Melbourne Cup win as Band Of Outlaws gave O’Brien a first official winner at the Cheltenham Festival.
There are many who felt that the Fred Winter winner Band Of Outlaws could have won the Triumph Hurdle today but that is a debate for another day and maybe the season-ending Punchestown Festival will give us a clash between Band Of Outlaws and his stable companion Sir Erec who will be the warm favourite for the Triumph Hurdle today.
Sir Erec had a scare last week but has been declared to run and on all known form will take some beating. A very high class performer on the Flat, Sir Erec could easily be competitive in a Gold Cup on the Flat at Royal Ascot this summer and realistically, a bit like Tiger Roll on Wednesday, only bad luck should beat him.
Sir Erec’s win over stable companion Gardens Of Babylon at the Dublin Racing Festival was very impressive and it has been a terrific week already for Mark Walsh who has ridden Sir Erec on both starts to date.
Walsh will surely want to be keeping it simple on the 105-rated Flat performer and a field of just 14 should help.
At Sir Erec’s price of 1/1, it could be best to look for a bit of each-way value in the race though.
It’s short about a horse who did have a slight setback and that is a short price about a horse only having his third run over jumps at the toughest meeting of them all. Hannon is interesting for John McConnell. He won at Musselburgh and the runner-up was six-lengths back that day has also franked the form and won since. He was an unlucky loser at Naas when rallying late on, albeit well treated at the weights that day, but McConnell isn’t here for the day out and while he has plenty to find on official ratings he could run well at a big price.
That said, Tiger Tap Tap ran Sir Erec close at Leopardstown over Christmas and while he didn’t back that run up at the Dublin Racing Festival, it would be a surprise if he didn’t improve for an ease in the ground and make the frame here.
10/1 looks a better each-way bet than the 1/1 on offer for Sir Erec.
Connections of Coeur Sublime feel that he would prefer soft ground. Gordon Elliott’s charge has always held a lofty reputation but it’s hard to know if he’s quite up to it here having been disappointing at Gowran Park last time when he did get a bit of an ease.
All logic points to Sir Erec and he’ll should win but there’s been plenty of betting opportunities this week and…
going each-way Tiger Tap Tap might be more rewarding.
Sir Erec (EVS) – 1.30 Cheltenham
Tiger Tap Tap each-way (10/1) – 1.30 Cheltenham
*Prices correct at time of publication.