The Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham often proves to be a tough betting heat and that is exactly the scenario we have been left with this season. This weekend we have seen virtually all of the main contenders in the betting have a run ahead of the Festival but there remains no clear favourite for the big race. There were good wins for the likes of Baby Mix and Grumeti and the pair of them are now fighting for Triumph Hurdle favouritism. The Adonis Hurdle Hurdle at Kempton has produced the last two winners of the Triumph and with that in mind perhaps Baby Mix is now the horse to beat. The grey horse bounced back from a flop last time out to win the race ahead of the game Sadler's Risk who also ran a decent race. Conenctions were delighted with the run of Baby Mix who looks a potential star for trainer Tom George and Paddy Brennan ahead of the Festival.
Another Triumph Hurdle contender also ran at Kempton on Saturday with Grumeti winning the Dovecote Hurdle in some style. The Alan King horse went off an odds on favourite for the race and while the margin of victory was smaller than some might expect it was still a good performance. it was the first time Choc Thornton had ridden the horse but he never had to get serious on the winner and Grumeti was cut for Cheltenham as a result. We also saw a number of ante-post Triumph Hurdle fancies drop out of contention over the weekend with the Dessie Hughes trained Minsk the highest profile of those. The former flat horse had been favourite for the juvenile race but after losing his his hurdling debut on Saturday he was found to have a throat infection and will now miss the Cheltenham Festival. Dildar was another one whose colours were lowered after he unseated Ruby Walsh at the last when well beaten in the Adonis Hurdle. At this stage the Triumph hurdle is a head scratcher for punters but there is no shortage of quality for a race which may prove to be a Festival highlight this season.