• Racing/
  • Le Rocher Triumphs At Cheltenham

JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial (Registered As The Finesse Juvenile Hurdle) (Grade 2) 2m 1f

  • (4yo, 2m 1f, Class 1, 6 runners)
  • Winner £17,085 2nd £6,411 3rd £3,210 4th £1,599 5th £804 6th £402
  • Going: Heavy, Soft in places
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 4m 27.30s
  • Off time: 12:40:42
  • Last Updated: January 25 2014, 18:59 GMT

Le Rocher ran out a convincing winner of the JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial at Cheltenham.

Le Rocher: A convincing winner
Le Rocher: A convincing winner

Nick Williams had sent his five best horses to Prestbury Park and gained instant reward as his juvenile landed this Grade Two prize with a degree of comfort.

The West Country handler had made no secret of the regard in which he held his juvenile following his victory in the Grade One Finale Hurdle on his British debut but he was sent off the 2/1 second favourite as the money poured on Vicenzio Mio.

The 11/10 favourite set out to make every yard of the running under Daryl Jacob but Le Rocher eased alongside coming down the hill and readily asserted on the run to the last.

Richard Johnson had to keep him up to his work on the climb to the line and it was hard work in the testing conditions but those behind were also struggling and he came home 10 lengths to the good of Kentucky Hyden.

Williams must now consider the Triumph itself and said: "It's not every owners' cup of tea and these owners ran one in the Triumph and it probably wasn't the right horse.

"I think this one could well be. He's handled the course and won on better ground in France, but no decision has been made."

Sky Bet cut the winner to 10/1 from 16s for the JCB Triumph Hurdle and spokesman Michael Shinners said: "Le Rocher boasts some of the standout juvenile form but he's done his winning on testing ground and it remains to be seen whether he can reproduce his best on a faster surface.

"Quicker conditions could also put his jumping under pressure and we're happy to lay 10/1 as things stand although he's clearly a very smart individual."

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