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Latest 2012 JCB Triumph Hurdle Betting Round-Up


The going at Cheltenham continues to be the main factor dominating headlines as we move closer and closer to day one of the annual steeplechasing showpiece. While the course at Cheltenham is testing enough, firmer going makes it a slightly different beast than what many yards are used to at this time of year. Clerk of the course Simon Claisse has the ground crew watering every day as of last Wednesday and they'll be aiming for good to soft but will likely wind up with good soft in places.


The ground for the JCB Triumph Hurdle has already thrown a monkey wrench into the plans of Robert Thornton who will line up for Alan King's top mounts throughout festival time. Grumeti and Balder Succes are both solid selections but the going will likely decide which mount Thornton takes. Both have won over the past weeks and King declared that he wasn't looking to rush the decision – adopting a wait and see attitude.

King stated, “We don't have to rush into it. I think a lot will depend on ground. I think soft ground will certainly suit Balder Succes. I'm not saying he won't go on good but I think he is very effective on the soft, whereas I think better ground suits Grumeti.”

In other JCB Triumph Hurdle news, former favourite Minsk has been withdrawn due to a throat infection that was discovered after turning out at Fairyhouse at the weekend. Owner Barry Connell stated that he would go back to John Oxx for a flat campaign this summer, similar to the arrangement they had with What A Charm, who won last year's Fred Winter.

Baby Mix remains a solid contender for this one and has drawn more attention since capturing a victory over Sadler's Risk at Kempton when sent off at a 4/1 listing. He scored in a juvenile hurdle at Cheltenham back in December to add further credibility.

He was smashed by betting favourite Grumeti by a massive 27 lengths in a follow up contest in late January.

Another entrant from that race gets a good position in the ante post market as Pearl Swan was DQ'ed from a victory in that one by coming in on Grumeti during the run-in. He hadn't done much before scoring against maiden company at Taunton. Not much is known of this Paul Nicholls-trained gelding but he just might be ready to flash some serious skill at festival time.  

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