The opening race on day four of the Cheltenham Festival is the Grade 1 Triumph Hurdle, which is the leading juvenile contest in the National Hunt season and takes place over 2m 1f.
Four horses have won this race and then gone on to score in the Champion Hurdle, with Katchit the last horse to complete the double in 2018.
Cheltenham 1.30 Triumph Hurdle tips
Connor Whitley’s fancies for the big race are below. Scroll down to read the expert analysis behind them.
Odds correct at time of publishing and may be subject to change.
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Lossiemouth can live up to billing
LOSSIEMOUTH arrived at Willie Mullins’ yard in Ireland with a big reputation after scoring on her sole outing in France over hurdles at Auteuil. She soon became a big Triumph Hurdle contender with a Grade 3 success at Fairyhouse on her stable debut.
At three, the French-bred filly took another big step forward during the festive period at Leopardstown, winning the Grade 2 Knight Frank Juvenile Hurdle by 7½ lengths. She finished ahead of stablemate Gala Marceau, for whom she had too much speed for her in the closing stages.
Lossiemouth had to settle for second behind Gala Marceau in their most recent clash in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle at last month’s Dublin Racing Festival. In what was a surprise defeat, she was bumped a couple of times, which did not help her chances at the business end of the race.
As the No 1 stable jockey, Paul Townend had the pick of seven horses in this field and he has picked Lossiemouth, which indicates that he believes she has the best chance for the Mullins team.
The extra furlong in this race should work in the filly’s favour as she has shaped like she will get much further than 2m in the future.
Mullins and owner Rich Ricci can be very excited about what their star filly can achieve in the future. She has shades of Annie Power about her, so this may be the first of many Cheltenham Festival wins.
Selection: Lossiemouth @ 13/8 with Spreadex
Destiny calling for Mullins?
BLOOD DESTINY has won both of his assignments in Ireland this season, albeit neither has come in graded company. He got off the mark on his opening run for Mullins, easing to victory by five lengths in a 20-runner maiden at Cork.
The gelding took another big step forward last time out at Fairyhouse, where Townend made the running and he never saw another rival. He was clear of the field by the time he was approaching the fourth from home and, despite being eased close to the line, he prevailed by 18 lengths.
The son of Risk It All has not always been fluent over hurdles, but he can get away with that as he has an incredible engine on the flat. This will be the fourth start of his career, so you would expect his jumping to improve again.
Given how easily this horse won from the front at Fairyhouse on his latest outing, expect to see Patrick Mullins make the running here. He will be travelling at the pace he wants to and he may take some passing.
Selection: Blood Destiny @ 7/4 with Spreadex
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