The Triumph – A Champion Hurdle Trial?

It’s often noted that the previous season’s top juvenile hurdlers fail to make the transition into open company, despite having been hugely impressive in their juvenile year. This year, we’re faced with such a dilemma yet again – Defi Du Seuil looked like a wonderful horse and an exciting prospect last season, winning both the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham and the Anniversary Hurdle at Aintree. However, this season he has failed to impress in either of his two starts, finishing 4th of 5 runners at Ascot and 7th of 8 at Leopardstown. Should we simply write off the previous season’s juveniles when considering a Champion Hurdle, or are they were keeping on side?

I’ve taken a look at all of the previous season’s Triumph Hurdle runners to run in the following season’s Champion Hurdle. Here is the list, along with a few conclusions:

2017 Champion Hurdle / 2016 Triumph

Horse Triumph Placing Champion Odds Champion Placing
Footpad 3rd 14/1 4th
Sceau Royal 12th 25/1 6th

2016 Champion Hurdle / 2015 Triumph

Horse Triumph Placing Champion Odds Champion Placing
Peace And Co 1st 16/1 PU
Top Notch 2nd 14/1 5th
Hargam 3rd 16/1 10th

2015 Champion Hurdle / 2014 Triumph

None

2014 Champion Hurdle / 2013 Triumph

Horse Triumph Placing Champion Odds Champion Placing
Our Conor 1st 5/1 F

2013 Champion Hurdle / 2012 Triumph

Horse Triumph Placing Champion Odds Champion Placing
Countrywide Flame 1st 16/1 3rd
Balder Succes F 100/1 UR

2012 Champion Hurdle / 2011 Triumph

Horse Triumph Placing Champion Odds Champion Placing
Zarkandar 1st 9/1 5th
Brampour 9th 50/1 7th

2011 Champion Hurdle / 2010 Triumph

None

2010 Champion Hurdle / 2009 Triumph

Horse Triumph Placing Champion Odds Champion Placing
Zaynar 1st 15/2 3rd
Starluck 4th 14/1 5th
Jumbo Rio 9th 50/1 8th

2009 Champion Hurdle / 2008 Triumph

Horse Triumph Placing Champion Odds Champion Placing
Celestial Halo 1st 17/2 2nd
Won In The Dark 3rd 33/1 10th

2008 Champion Hurdle / 2007 Triumph

Horse Triumph Placing Champion Odds Champion Placing
Katchit 1st 10/1 1st
Punjabi 4th 25/1 3rd

Form of Triumph Winner

12353FP – 1 win and 3 places from 7 runners.

This actually looks better when you break it down:

  • 1st at 10/1
  • 2nd at 17/2
  • 3rd at 15/2
  • 5th at 9/1
  • 3rd at 16/1
  • Fell at 5/1
  • Pulled up at 16/1

If anything, the Triumph winners have performed fairly consistently in the Champion Hurdle – they generally haven’t managed to have quite enough to win the big race the following year, but have done a good job at making the frame at decent prices.

The previous year’s Triumph winners have taken up 6% of the total field in the last 10 years but have managed to make up 13% of the total places on offer. This record may be even better if Our Conor, the shortest-priced Triumph winner in a Champion Hurdle in the last 10 years, had not tragically taken a fatal fall in the early stages of the races, missing out on a chance to show his true talent.

While the record of 5yo’s in winning the Champion Hurdle is famously poor, this record excluding Triumph winners is simply dire. In the last 10 years, 5yo’s (excluding the previous year’s Triumph Hurdle winner) took up 18% of the field but only 7% of the total places, with 2 places filled.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s