Gala Retail Spring Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 1) (2m) 2m

  • (4yo, 2m, Class 1, 6 runners)
  • Winner €48,800 2nd €14,300 3rd €6,800 4th €2,300
  • Going: Soft to Heavy
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 3m 50.40s
  • Off time: 13:15:05

Full Result

13:15 Leopardstown
Pos Dist Horse Trainer Age Weight Jockey SP
1st 1 Guitar Pete (IRE) D T Hughes 4 11-0 v B J Geraghty 9/2
SP 9/2 Chased clear leader, 2nd after 2nd and closer approaching 4 out, challenged 2 out and led approaching straight, soon asserted, ridden and kept on well run-in opened 5/1
2nd 6 Tiger Roll (IRE) G Elliott 4 11-0 B J Cooper 16/1
SP 16/1 Chased leaders and 4th halfway, closer 4 out, progress 2 out and went 2nd early straight, ridden and no impression when slight mistake last, kept on same pace run-in opened 20/1
3rd 5 Plinth (IRE) A P O'Brien 4 11-0 A P McCoy 9/4
SP 9/4 Chased clear leader, 5th halfway, closer when not fluent 4 out, mistake next, ridden and went 3rd approaching last where slight mistake, under pressure and kept on one pace run-in opened 2/1
4th 3 Ivan Grozny (FR) W P Mullins 4 11-0 R Walsh 9/10f
SP 9/10f Chased clear leader in 2nd, 3rd after 2nd, closer before 4 out, not fluent 2 out, pushed along and no impression in 4th approaching last, kept on one pace run-in opened 1/1 touched 5/6
5th 2 Henry Higgins (IRE) C O'Brien 4 11-0 M P Walsh 50/1
SP 50/1 Chased clear leader in rear, closer 4 out, pushed along and no impression in 5th early straight, kept on one pace
6th 4 Orgilgo Bay (IRE) J C McConnell 4 11-0 M J Bolger 20/1
SP 20/1 Led and soon clear, reduced advantage before 4 out, challenged 2 out and soon headed, no extra and weakened early straight

Betting Breakdown

Tote Win £4.10 Tote Place £1.90 £2.60 Straight Forecast £58.39 Exacta £39.70

Placepot €2,130.90

Analysis

A strong turnout for a race won 12 months ago by Our Conor but a surprising result as GUITAR PETE provided Dessie Hughes with back-to-back successes. The most experienced runner in the line-up, the son of sprinter Dark Angel had appeared to have had his limitations exposed with defeat behind Royal Irish Hussar at Cheltenham two starts ago so it was no surprise to see a dramatic shake-up in the ante-post market for the Triumph Hurdle. Jumping and travelling well, he made his rivals look a shade slow when taking several lengths out of the field on the turn for home and had enough in hand to maintain his advantage to the line. Plenty of his sire's progeny go well in deep ground on the level and it could be that he relished these conditions (his Cheltenham defeat came on good ground) and handled them better than his rivals but the possibility that he is fast-improving must be considered. In balance, though, the prices around 10/1 make limited appeal and it's worth remembering that several recent winners of the Triumph didn't make their debuts until the end of this month. Tiger Roll is available at twice those odds after running a sound race on debut for new connections having been sold out of Nigel Hawke's yard for 80,000 guineas. The form of his Market Rasen win hadn't really worked out but this Darley cast-off has a decent pedigree and has clearly done well in the interim; testing conditions suit him well and the way that he stayed on suggests that he should stay further in time. Ivan Grozny has form under similar conditions so this has to rate as a disappointing performance with his powerful connections having plenty of faith in his ability but it's just possible he may need a better surface. Plinth's jumping left something to be desired on just his second start over hurdles and he, too, may possibly have found conditions deeper than ideal. The form of the maiden hurdle in which they finished first and second in December has been a bit of a mixed bag and it's conceivable that the race could have been overrated but both represent powerful connections and are worth another chance to prove their mettle. Henry Higgins was never out of the rear but he had finished over 30 lengths behind the winner on debut and closed that gap to 13 lengths. He was allowed to come home in his own time after the last on Boxing Day which can only lead to conjecture but it doesn't appear unreasonable to suggest that both he and Guitar Pete may have run to a similar level of form given the distances involved. Like Our Conor, he's by Jeremy and he will be of more interest once handicapping with the Fred Winter the obvious race should connections be thinking of travelling to England.