The final day of the Festival gets underway with the JCB Triumph Hurdle, the season’s championship contest for juvenile hurdlers.
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.
TRIUMPH HURDLE TRENDS
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
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
Ivanovich Gorbatov 2016
In 2015 Peace And Co led home a Triumph Hurdle 1-2-3 for Nicky Henderson:
The great Tiger Roll collected the first of his five Festival victories on just his second start for Gigginstown and Gordon Elliott in 2014:
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.
Countrywide Flame 2012
Commanche Court 1997