Triumph Hurdle

The Triumph Hurdle is a Grade 1 race at the Cheltenham Festival over two miles restricted to four-year-olds.

It is the most prized juvenile hurdle of the National Hunt season and attracts the very best young novices from Britain and Ireland.

It is regarded as a launchpad for future Champion Hurdlers but only four horses have gone on to win that race, the most recent being Katchit in 2007.

Find out more about the Triumph Hurdle:

Triumph Hurdle

The Triumph Hurdle – Race Overview

The Triumph Hurdle is a Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle competition for horses four years old and up.

It is run over a distance of around 2 miles and 1 furlong on the New Course at Cheltenham Racecourse, and there are eight hurdles to jump during the race.

The race is for novice juvenile hurdlers and will take place on Tuesday, March 15th, which is the first day of the festival.

Famous Triumph Hurdle Winners

The Triumph Hurdle was first run at Hurst Park in 1939 and six of the first seven winners were trained in France.

Clair Soleil (1953) became the first Triumph winner to go on and win the Champion Hurdle in 1955.

Another eye-catching name among the early winners was that of Lester Piggott. He rode Prince Charlemagne to victory in 1954, one of only twenty winners he rode over hurdles.

Hurst Park was closed in 1962 with the race revived at Cheltenham three years’ later.

Persian War won in 1967 and would go on to win three consecutive Champion Hurdles from 1968 to 1970. He was beaten by Bula when attempting a fourth victory in 1971.

In 1974 Attivo was a popular winner, racing in the colours of the late BBC commentator Sir Peter O’Sullevan.

Other high-class Triumph Hurdle winners include Pollardstown (1979) and Heighlin (1980), trained by Stan Mellor and David Elsworth respectively. Both horses proved extremely versatile and enjoyed success on the flat.

Kribensis became the third Triumph winner to win the Champion in 1988. He was owned by Sheikh Mohammed, trained by Michael Stoute and ridden by Richard Dunwoody.

It was 19 years before Katchit added his name to the exclusive list, trained by Alan King and ridden by Robert Thornton. Triumph winners to go close in the Champion include Oh So Risky (1991) and Zarkandar (2011).

Runaway 2013 Triumph winner Our Conor was regarded by many as a future Champion but he tragically fell fatally in the big race.

The following year the Triumph was won by Tiger Roll who would become a household name with back-to-back Grand National victories in 2018-19. Unfortunately, the pandemic put paid to his hat-trick bid at Aintree.

Key Triumph Hurdle Trials

The Spring Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown has been the most significant trial for the Triumph in recent seasons.

Six of the last twelve winners took part in that race prior to the Cheltenham Festival, two of them winning (Our Conor and Quilixios) and three placed.

During the same twelve-year-period, two winners of the Finesse Juvenile Hurdle at Cheltenham won the Triumph; Peace And Co (2015) and Defi Du Seuil (2017).

The same statistic is returned by the Adonis Juvenile Hurdle at Kempton Park; Soldatino (2010) and Zarkandar (2011).

Triumph Hurdle Previous Winners

Year Winner Jockey Trainer
2012 Countrywide Flame Dougie Costello John Quinn
2013 Our Conor Bryan Cooper Dessie Hughes
2014 Tiger Roll Davy Russell Gordon Elliott
2015 Peace And Co Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson
2016 Ivanovich Gorbatov Barry Geraghty Aidan O’Brien
2017 Defi du Seuil Richard Johnson Philip Hobbs
2018 Farclas Jack Kennedy Gordon Elliott
2019 Pentland Hills Nico de Boinville Nicky Henderson
2020 Burning Victory Paul Townend Willie Mullins
2021 Quilixios Rachael Blackmore Henry De Bromhead
2022 Vauban Paul Townend Willie Mullins

Triumph Hurdle 2023 Odds

  • Whymper – 50-1

Triumph Hurdle Betting Trends

  • The Triumph Hurdle used to have a reputation as being a bit of a cavalry charge, always likely to produce shock results. That is no longer the case these days as the size of the field has gradually decreased with greater emphasis on the form of the trial races.
  • Favourites still have a mixed record in the race. Peace And Co (2015), Ivanovich Gorbatov (2016) and Defi Du Seuil (2017) were three successful market leaders but the next four were all beaten.
  • The Triumph can still produce the occasional shock result. Countrywide Flame (2012) returned at 33-1 and Pentland Hills (2019) was a 20-1 chance. Seven of the last twelve winners featured in the top three in the betting.
  • Farclas (2018) was the only maiden to win the Triumph during that period, although he had finished second in the Grade 1 Spring Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown on his previous start.
  • Nine of the twelve had raced twice or more and won at least once, eight of them having won on their most recent start. Seven of the twelve winners has been successful in a Grade 1 to 3 race.
  • An official rating of 140 or higher is usually required to win the Triumph Hurdle. Peace And Co and Defi Du Seuil were both rated 155 and Our Conor rated 150.

Triumph Hurdle – Top Trainers and Jockeys

Nicky Henderson is the most successful trainer in the history of the Triumph Hurdle with seven victories. He won it for the first time in 1985 with the useful flat recruit First Bout who had only one previous race over hurdles at Plumpton before winning at Cheltenham. He struck again in 1987 with Alone Success but then had to wait 12 years before Katarino (1999) made it three.

Zaynar (2009) and Soldatino (2010) provided Henderson with back-to-back victories and the well-backed Peace And Co made it six in 2015. His most recent success was provided by Pentland Hills who, like First Bout, followed up a debut victory at Plumpton.

Other British trainers to enjoy success in the Triumph include Philip Hobbs (3 winners) and Paul Nicholls (2 winners).

Irish trainers did not have a great record in this race until recent seasons but have now won it six times in the past nine years.

Two of those winners went to Gordon Elliott with Tiger Roll and Farclas and he was also the trainer of 2021 winner Quilixios until that horse was switched to Henry de Bromhead within weeks of the start of the festival.

Betting on the Triumph Hurdle

The Triumph Hurdle has a strong ante-post betting market with winning juveniles earning quotes as early as November.

Bookmakers have started offering “non-runner – no bet” on the Triumph Hurdle during the run-up to the Cheltenham Festival.

The market has been heavily influenced by the outcome of the Spring Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown in February in recent seasons. The big Irish stables tend to have multiple entries for this race so betting NRNB is probably the best approach.

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Popular Questions

What time does the Triumph Hurdle start?

The Triumph Hurdle starts at 13:30.

What day is the Triumph Hurdle?

The Triumph Hurdle takes place on the 18th of March 2022.

What distance is the Triumph Hurdle?

Triumph Hurdle has a total distance of 2 miles and 1 furlong.


Summary of Triumph Hurdle

The Triumph Hurdle is one of the top novice hurdles of the National Hunt calendar.

The young horses are all at an early stage of their jumping careers and many go onto achieve further success over hurdles and fences.

It is one of the most competitive races at the Cheltenham Festival.

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