Cheltenham Festival 2019 – Sir Erec appeals as a Triumph Hurdle horse
Apple’s Jade may have captured the headlines with her impressive victory in the Irish Champion Hurdle, while Bellshill and Road To Respect probably booked their places in the Cheltenham Gold Cup after a close finish in the Irish equivalent, but did any other horses catch the eye during the two-day Dublin Festival?
One of the more notable performances arrived in the Juvenile Hurdle on Sunday when Sir Erec led for most of the two miles distance before quickening away from his rivals. Trained by Joseph O’Brien, the Galileo horse was a competent performer on the flat during the summer for his father Aidan before winning his only other hurdle race at Leopardstown back in December.
Triumph Hurdle Betting Odds
Sir Erec is priced at 6/4 with Bet Victor for the Triumph Hurdle and it could be that we have yet to witness the best of this improving colt, but he is likely to be opposed by stable mate Fakir D’oudairies now offered at 5/1. The latter is also unbeaten over hurdles but was a comfortable winner at Cheltenham in his previous appearance.
Dubin Racing Festival Cheltenham Clues
Among the other younger winners at Leopardstown was Le Richebourg in the Arkle Chase and another horse belonging to the progressive Joseph O’Brien stable. Mark Walsh bided his time during the race before unleashing Le Richebourg at the final fence to win comfortably and secure a fourth victory in five attempts over fences. The Irish novice is offered at 7/2 with Betvictor for the Cheltenham Arkle where he will be opposed by some decent animals including the useful Cilaos Emery. The Willie Mullins trained horse was never seriously troubled when winning at Gowran Park back in January when appearing over fences for the first time.
Envoi Allen was another horse to finish the day as favourite for a Cheltenham race when he won the Saturday NH Flat race. The manner of his victory was more workmanlike and while he has proved his battling qualities, his price of 9/2 favourite for the Bumper does not really offer much appeal at this stage.
Another of the more eye-catching performances at Leopardstown was that of the Warren Greatrex trained La Bague Au Roi in the 2m5f novice chase. The 8-year-old mare is now unbeaten in four attempts over fences but she may be more suited to flatter tracks than the undulations of Cheltenham.
In that same race, Kaiser Black was a close second at 33/1 after travelling well for most the contest. Good ground suits the 8-year-old gelding and he was just outpaced by the winner at the finish. He may also not be Cheltenham bound and could be worth noting at each-way value for either the Aintree or Punchestown festivals over a longer distance.
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