The JCB Triumph Hurdle will be the curtain raiser for Day 4 of the 2010 Cheltenham Festival and we are expecting a good field for this top class race, its another of the Festival races that has grown in stature in recent years from a betting point of view. The 2010 race is already shaping up to be a classic with several top contenders fancying their chances of taking the win, recent winners such as Katchit, Zaynar and Celestial Halo have all gone on to be top horses which highlights the importance of the Triumph Hurdle. There are a number of exciting runners with entries to the Triumph Hurdle all of whom fancy their chances of claiming a Festival win in one of the big races on Cheltenham Gold Cup day.
Alaivan is a horse that has been aimed towards the JCB Triumph Hurdle all season and he will go to the race as one of the well fancied runners. He has been in good form winning his most recent outing at Fairyhouse at the end of February and looks in ideal shape for a Cheltenham Festival assault. He was however beaten once this season by a fellow Triumph Hurdle contender in Carlito Brigante, that defeat was at Leopardstown on Boxing Day and would be a worry for backers of Alaivan. Carlito Brigante has won three races on the bounce including that win on Boxing Day and looks a real prospect, he is also well fancied for this race and on his best form he has to have a real chance.
The favourite for a long time in the JCB Triumph Hurdle Odds was Mille Chief who has been sparkling so far this season but he has picked up an injury and is now considered unlikely to make it to the Festival. Without him the betting has opened up and the likes of the Willie Mullins Trained Secant Star look to be in with a chance. He has only had three starts so far but has won two of them including last time out at Gowran Park in January. He won well that day and seems to be improving with every run meaning he has every chance in the big race to take the win as the betting reflects. The Champion Trainer Paul Nicholls also has a strong hand in this race with Advisor his best chance of scoring, he is another in fine form having won at Ascot in January. That win at Ascot is a well known trial race for the Triumph Hurdle and on that basis he must be taken seriously and added to that Paul Nicholls record at the Festival in recent years and he may well go off at a short price.