TRIUMPH HURDLE

The final day of the Festival gets underway with the JCB Triumph Hurdle, the season’s championship contest for juvenile hurdlers. 

Grade 1 | 4yo only | Friday 13.30
2 miles 1 furlong | 8 hurdles | New Course
Weight: 11st | Allowance: 7lb for fillies
Prize money (2022): £135,000 | 1st: £75,965

With the four-year-old contestants very much at the start of their careers, it is no surprise to see many winners and placed horses go on to bigger and better things. 

Four horses have won the Triumph and Champion Hurdle, most recently Katchit.

Persian War won in 1967 before winning three consecutive Champion Hurdles (1968-1970).

Tiger Roll won the 2014 renewal, the first of his five Festival wins plus, of course, back-to-back Aintree Grand National victories.

Even those unplaced in the Triumph Hurdle have gone on to big wins.

The 2016 renewal featured both Frodon (8th) - winner of the Ryanair Chase in 2019 - and Clan Des Obeaux (6th), who won the Punchestown Gold Cup in 2021.

Nicky Henderson has trained 7 winners
9 of the last 14 winners were unbeaten over hurdles
7 of the last 10 winners ran in Leopardstown's Spring Juvenile Hurdle last time out
4 of the last 16 favourites won
Updated to include 2022 renewal

Field sizes have reduced dramatically since the introduction of the Fred Winter Hurdle, with graded form coming to the fore.  

While some are yet to be handed an official handicap mark, Peace And Co in 2015 and Defi du Seuil in 2017 were both rated 155.

Vauban, Quilixios, Farclas, Ivanovich Gorbatov, Tiger Roll, Our Conor and Countrywide Flame all ran in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle ahead of winning the Triumph Hurdle.

Nicky Henderson has won multiple Triumph Hurdles - including a 1-2-3 in 2015 - but he hasn't had a runner in the last three years.

Gordon Elliott has had two winners and three seconds since 2016 - from just 8 runners, and was also training Quilixios before his suspension ahead of the Festival in 2021.

Philip Hobbs also boasts a decent strike rate, with three winners and two seconds from 10 runners since 2004. But he hasn't had a contender for the last four years.

LAST 5 WINNERS’ DATA

YEAR
AGE
OFFICIAL RATING
WEIGHT
2022
4
146
11-0
2021
4
147
11-0
2020
4
10-7
2019
4
11-0
2018
4
140
11-0
Two recent winners had no official handicap mark as they had both run just once over hurdles before lining up in the Triumph Hurdle. Goshen, who would have won in 2020 but for unseating his rider after the final flight, was rated 151.

RECENT WINNERS

YEAR
WINNER
JOCKEY / TRAINER
SP
2022
Vauban
Paul Townend / Willie Mullins
6/4f
2021
Quilixios
Rachael Blackmore / Henry De Bromhead
2/1
2020
Burning Victory
Paul Townend / Willie Mullins
12/1
2019
Pentland Hills
Nico de Boinville / Nicky Henderson
20/1
2018
Farclas
Jack Kennedy / Gordon Elliott
9/1
2017
Defi du Seuil
Richard Johnson / Philip Hobbs
5/2f
2016
Ivanovich Gorbatov
Barry Geraghty / Aidan O'Brien
9/2f
2015
Peace And Co
Barry Geraghty / Nicky Henderson
2/1f
2014
Tiger Roll
Davy Russell / Gordon Elliott
10/1
2013
Our Conor
Bryan Cooper / Dessie Hughes
4/1
2012
Countrywide Flame
Dougie Costello / John Quinn
33/1
2011
Zarkandar
Daryl Jacob / Paul Nicholls
13/2
2010
Soldatino
Barry Geraghty / Nicky Henderson
6/1
2009
Zaynar
Barry Geraghty / Nicky Henderson
11/2
2008
Celestial Halo
Ruby Walsh / Paul Nicholls
5/1
2007
Katchit
Robert Thornton / Alan King
11/2
2006
Detroit City
Richard Johnson / Philip Hobbs
7/2f
2005
Penzance
Robert Thornton / Alan King
9/1
2004
Made in Japan
Richard Johnson / Philip Hobbs
20/1
2003
Spectroscope
Barry Geraghty / Jonjo O'Neill
20/1
2002
Scolardy
Charlie Swan / Willie Mullins
16/1
2001

Festival Cancelled

2000
Snow Drop
Thierry Doumen / François Doumen
7/1f

Vauban justified pre-Festival hype by powering to victory in the 2022 Triumph Hurdle, despite hitting the last hurdle.

According to winning jockey Paul Townend, the classy gelding still has a bit to learn:

‘HE’LL HAVE TO JUMP A BIT SLICKER FOR A CHAMPION HURDLE, BUT THAT CAN BE WORKED OUT AT HOME. HE’S DEFINITELY GOING THE RIGHT WAY’

Quilixios was Rachael Blackmore's sixth winner at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival.

He was a recent transfer to the Henry de Bromhead yard having previously been trained by the suspended Gordon Elliott:

‘ALL CREDIT TO GORDON AND HIS TEAM AS HE LOOKED AMAZING ON JOINING US, WE’VE DONE VERY LITTLE WITH HIM’

The 2020 Triumph will forever be remembered for favourite Goshen's dramatic final-flight exit, unseating Jamie Moore when in command.

That let in the Willie Mullins-trained filly, Burning Victory, for a rather fortunate win:

‘IT’S NOT A VICTORY I’M GOING TO CELEBRATE HUGELY - WE GOT THE RUB OF THE GREEN’

There was a surprise winner in 2019 in Pentland Hills - a former 73-rated flat horse who had raced just once over hurdles for members of an Owners Group syndicate.

That was a spin-off of the Elite Racing Club, who had won the Triumph with Penzance in 2005 and were former sponsors of the race.

Nicky Henderson was relieved to record his seventh Triumph Hurdle success:

‘HE NEARLY FELL AT THE FIRST AND I WAS THINKING THIS WASN’T SUCH A GOOD IDEA. THE REST OF IT WAS GOOD THOUGH’

The grey Farclas made it third time lucky in 2018, having finished second in both of his previous starts over hurdles.

Winning jockey Jack Kennedy was quick to praise trainer Gordon Elliott:

‘EVERYONE KEEPS SAYING IT BUT GORDON IS A GENIUS...HE JUST LEAVES NO STONE UNTURNED AND HIS ATTENTION TO DETAIL IS SECOND TO NONE’

Defi Du Seuil extended his unbeaten record over hurdles to six in 2017 for trainer Philip Hobbs - who had two previous Triumph Hurdle winners (Detroit City & Made in Japan).

The French-bred gelding travelled like a dream for Richard Johnson before taking command on the run-in:

‘I WAS A PASSENGER ALL THE WAY TO BE HONEST, HE TRAVELLED AND JUMPED...I WAS JUST TRYING NOT TO GET THERE TOO SOON’

Ivanovich Gorbatov 2016

In 2015 Peace And Co led home a Triumph Hurdle 1-2-3 for Nicky Henderson:

‘IT’S BAD LUCK WHEN YOU HAVE TO GO BEATING UP YOUR OWN TROOPS, BUT FAIR BEER - THIS IS THE CHAMPIONSHIP AND THAT’S WHAT THEY’RE ENTITLED TO GO FOR’

The great Tiger Roll collected the first of his five Festival victories on just his second start for Gigginstown and Gordon Elliott in 2014:

‘THIS WAS ONLY THE HORSE’S THIRD START OVER HURDLES AND I THINK THERE IS STILL A BIT MORE IMPROVEMENT IN HIM’

A year earlier, Our Conor was an exhilarating Triumph winner for trainer Dessie Hughes.

Ridden by jockey Bryan Cooper, he won by a record distance of 15 lengths, but tragically fell fatally in the Champion Hurdle 12 months later.

‘THE WINNER HAS FLOWN FAR, FAR, AWAY’

Soldatino 2010

Barry Geraghty is the winning-most jockey in the Triumph Hurdle, with 5 successes: Spectroscope (2003), Zaynar (2009), Soladatino (2010), Peace And Co (2015) & Ivanovich Gorbatov (2016).

PREVIOUS WINNERS

YEAR
WINNER
JOCKEY / TRAINER
SP
1999
Katarino
Mick Fitzgerald / Nicky Henderson
11/4f
1998
Upgrade
Carl Llewellyn / Nigel Twiston-Davies
14/1
1997
Commanche Court
Norman Williamson / Ted Walsh
9/1
1996
Paddy's Return
Richard Dunwoody / Ferdy Murphy
10/1
1995
Kissair
Jonothan Lower / Martin Pipe
16/1
1994
Mysilv
Adrian Maguire / David Nicholson
2/1f
1993
Shawiya
Charlie Swan / Michael O'Brien
12/1
1992
Duke of Monmouth
Mark Richards / Simon Sherwood
33/1
1991
Oh So Risky
Paul Holley / David Elsworth
14/1
1990
Rare Holiday
Brendan Sheridan / Dermot Weld
25/1
1989
Ikdam
Nigel Coleman / Richard Holder
66/1
1988
Kribensis
Richard Dunwoody / Michael Stoute
6/1
1987
Alone Success
Steve Smith Eccles / Nicky Henderson
11/1
1986
Solar Cloud
Peter Scudamore / David Nicholson
40/1
1985
First Bout
Steve Smith Eccles / Nicky Henderson
5/1
1984
Northern Game
Tommy Ryan / Edward O'Grady
20/1
1983
Saxon Farm
Mark Perrett / Stan Mellor
12/1
1982
Shiny Copper
Allen Webb / Dina Smith
66/1
1981
Baron Blakeney
Paul Leach / Martin Pipe
66/1
1980
Heighlin
Steve Jobar / David Elsworth
40/1
1979
Pollardstown
Philip Blacker / Stan Mellor
12/1
1978*
Connaught Ranger
John Burke / Fred Rimell
25/1
1977
Meladon
Tommy Carberry / Adrian Maxwell
6/1
1976
Peterhof
Jonjo O'Neill / Mick Easterby
10/1
1975
Royal Epic
Fred McKenna / Vernon Cross
20/1
1974
Attivo
Robert Hughes / Cyril Mitchell
4/5f
1973
Moonlight Bay
Johnny Haine / Ryan Price
85/40f
1972
Zarib
Bill Smith / Fred Rimell
16/1
1971
Boxer
Jimmy Uttley / Ron Smyth
100/30jf
1970
Varma
Brian Barker / Mick Masson
100/7
1969
Coral Diver
Terry Biddlecombe / Fred Rimell
3/1f
1968
England's Glory
Jimmy Uttley / Staff Ingham
9/2
All Triumph Hurdle winners at the Festival prior to 2000

* Run at April meeting

The race was originally run at Hurst Park, which closed in 1962. It was then run at Cheltenham's April meeting for three years from 1965, before being transferred to the Festival in 1968.
Persian War won the Triumph Hurdle in 1967 before it was a Festival race and went on to win 3 consecutive Champion Hurdles (1968-70).