Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Big guns hold sway in Triumph

Our Conor is a big hope for the JCB Triumph Hurdle

All the major ante-post fancies are among 21 acceptors for the JCB Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival on Friday.

The Dessie Hughes-trained Our Conor, Paul Nicholls' Far West and Nicky Henderson's Rolling Star are the three main market fancies and all appear.

As well as Our Conor the Irish challenge could also be supplemented by Willie Mullins' Blood Cotil and Diakali, among others.

Gary Moore's Chris Pea Green, the John Quinn duo of Kashmir Peak and Hidden Justice, and John Ferguson's Grade One winner Ruacana are all there.

Nicholls has also left in Lac Fontana and Sametegal, while Henderson could also run Vasco Du Ronceray.

Mullins has given himself plenty of options in the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle on the same afternoon.

He has one of the ante-post favourites in Ballycasey and has also left in his Supreme Novices' Hurdle candidate Un Atout, red-hot Neptune favourite Pont Alexandre and last year's bumper winner Champagne Fever.

Mozoltov and Inish Island are others options for Mullins, while Noel Meade's Road To Riches, Charles Byrnes' Our Vinnie and Henry De Bromhead's Sizing Gold give Ireland a strong hand.

At Fishers Cross is leading the home defence for Welsh trainer Rebecca Curtis, while African Gold, Cloudy Copper, Gevrey Chambertin, who could run in the Martin Pipe on the same day, Coneygree and Utopie Des Bordes are also among the remaining possibles.

Jonjo O'Neill's Neptune-bound Taquin De Seuill was the biggest absentee.

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