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2021 Triumph Hurdle Tips – Trust the Irish in Gold Cup day opener

Last updated: 18 Mar 2021
Jon Vine 18 Mar 2021
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  • We’ve published our guide to the 2021 Triumph Hurdle Tips
  • This Grade One is the opening race on day four of the Cheltenham Festival
  • Adagio still offers each-way value at 8/1
  • Zanahiyr is our best bet
triumph hurdle
The runners round the bend in the Triumph Hurdle. (Getty)

Gold Cup day at the Cheltenham Festival opens in fantastic fashion, as the best juveniles in the sport lock horns in the Triumph Hurdle. This Grade One has provided many legendary horses with their first taste of big-festival success, with names like Persian War, Kribensis and Tiger Roll standing out on the roll of honour.

This year’s renewal of the Triumph Hurdle is shaping up to be a cracker, with five horses coming into the Festival on the back of impressive victories.

2021 Triumph Hurdle Guide

2021 Triumph Hurdle Odds

Best Odds

*Odds taken from William Hill on 4/3/21*

2021 Triumph Hurdle Tips – Irish Raiders

Zanahiyr2021 Triumph Hurdle FavouriteGET 6/4 HERE
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Ireland has three strong contenders for this year’s Triumph Hurdle, with the three runners representing the country's top three trainers.

Zanahiyr has sat atop the Triumph betting since winning the Grade Three on Bar One Racing Day at Fairyhouse in the Autumn. Gordon Elliott’s star enhanced his reputation with a comfortable Grade Two triumph at Leopardstown over Christmas, beating Busselton by almost four lengths.

Quilixios is also unbeaten over hurdles, and travels to Cheltenham on the back of an impressive win over Saint Sam in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle. Quilixios was part of the Cheveley Park exodus from Gordon Elliott’s yard earlier this week, and will make his first start for Henry De Bromhead at the Cheltenam Festival.

Willie Mullins will be represented by French Aseel, who’s raced just once so far over jumps. French Aseel bolted up in a maiden on day two of Leopardstown’s Christmas Festival, and was immediately snapped up by owners the Donnelly’s and moved from Ellmarie Holden to Ireland’s Champion Trainer.

2021 Triumph Hurdle Tips – Home Challengers

Tritonic2021 Triumph Hurdle Second-FavouriteGET 9/4 HERE
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Tritonic leapt to the head of the Triumph betting last weekend, having run away with the Adonis Hurdle at Kempton. Alan King’s charge was rated 99 on the flat, and has taken to hurdles well, following up a narrow win at Ascot with that smart Grade Two triumph.

Adagio brings Grade One-winning form to the table, having seen off Nassalam to win the Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow with a little bit up his sleeve. Apart from a five-length loss to the strong-staying Duffle Coat, David Pipe’s charge has done little wrong over hurdles, and boasts plenty of valuable course form.

Tritonic bolts up in the Adonic Hurdle at Kempton. (Getty)

2021 Triumph Hurdle Tips – Time Analysis

Quilixios2021 Triumph Hurdle ContenderGET 5/1 HERE
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On ratings, there’s very little to separate the leading five contenders. To try and gain a better handle on the field, I’ve analysed the times of their best performances.

Tritonic may have won the Adonis Hurdle by ten lengths, but the overall time of that race was half-a-second slower than the Dovecote won by Cape Gentleman. Tritonic was only half-a-second quicker from the second-last to the line than Cape Gentleman, which isn’t impressive, when you take into account Emmet Mullins’ charge was carrying four pounds more on his back, coming off a stronger pace and isn’t really a natural two-miler.

When French Aseel won at Leopardstown, he was a second quicker from the last (actually the second-last as the final hurdle was omitted) to the line than Appreciate It was when Willie Mullins’ Supreme favourite won the Future Champions. While that is interesting, the overall time of the Grade One was almost five seconds quicker than French Aseel’s maiden, and Appreciate It carried ten stone more on his back. 

In contrast, Quilixios’ Spring Juvenile Hurdle was almost two seconds quicker than Appreciate It’s Chanelle Pharma. However, Jack Kennedy’s mount was slower from the second-last to the line than Appreciate It, who again carried 11-12, compared to Quilixios’ 11-2.

The overall time of Zanahiyr’s Frank Knight is was pretty slow, as the field dawdled around Leopardstown for the first half of that race. From the second-last to the line, Zanahiyr (11-3) was over two seconds quicker than Martin Pipe favourite Wide Receiver (12-00) and almost three-and-a-half seconds quicker than handicap winner Dysart Diamond (11-6).

Zanahyir’s best performance came at Fairyhouse, where his closing sectionals were almost identical to Ballyadam’s in the Royal Bond. That doesn’t seem impressive, considering Ballyadam was shouldering a stone more than his stablemate. However, the time of Zanahiyr’s race was a full ten seconds quicker than the Royal Bond.

2021 Triumph Hurdle Tips – Verdict

Zanahiyr2021 Triumph Hurdle Best BetGET 6/4 HERE
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I'm not convinced Tritonic should be as short as he is and Quilixios - who'll make a beautiful staying chaser in the coming seasons - doesn't jump as well as some of his rivals, and can be prone to a flat spot.

I still think Adagio has been overlooked and he offers some each-way value. However, I think ZANAHIYR is the best bet in the opener on day four of the Cheltenham Festival.

Zanahiyr's form is rock-solid, and the fact he hasn't had to move stables means his preparation for Cheltenham has been unaltered. I think he’s the best hurdler out of the leading contenders, he’s certainly the quickest, and I see no reason why he won’t perform to his best around the track.


Now it's clear Zanahiyr is going to run, he'll be my best bet. Adagio still appeals each-way.

2021 Triumph Hurdle Tip 1: Zanahiyr Straight Win @6/4 at Boylesports - 25 Units
2021 Triumph Hurdle Tip 2: Adagio Each-Way @8/1 at Hollywood bets - 5 Units
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