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Triumph Hurdle throws up best option for 100/1 Festival winner

| 10.03.2014

It is not a massive surprise to discover that fancied three-figure longshots are few and far between at the Cheltenham Festival, but one horse that could easily outrun his 100/1 price for the Triumph Hurdle is Streak.

Success was found at the Festival last year when more patient tactics on board Changing Times were rewarded with a third-place finish at 100/1 in the contest formerly known as the Jewson Novices’ Chase, while His Excellency was also third in the Arkle Chase at 80/1.

This shows that some extreme value can be found in the Cheltenham markets and Streak is somewhat of an unknown quantity in the Triumph Hurdle.

Thomas Mullins, the brother of the more widely-known Willie, has never previously saddled a runner in the Triumph and Streak only made her hurdling debut earlier this month at Navan.

This was a pleasing effort over 2m, as she took the wide route throughout and was one of the last off the bridle.

Having been joint-leader at the last, she was not pushed too hard up the run-in to finish third on ground that was probably too soft for her.

The weather forecast anticipates the ground being firmer by the final day of the Festival, which will be more to her liking, while obvious improvement can be expected from her hurdles debut.

What was noteworthy was that behind her at Navan came Gordon Elliott’s Halling’s Treasure, who was officially rated 119 for the contest, who also wasn’t far behind the well regarded Ivan Grozny earlier in the season.

Zarkandar won the 2011 Triumph on the back of a sole hurdles start, albeit a victory in a better quality race, but this shows that experience is not always vital here.

The six-day declaration stage is yet to pass for the Triumph, but punters worried that the filly may be scratched should certainly take the 100/1 with Coral, not only because the bookmaker are offering the top industry price, but also because non-runner, money back is now being promoted on all 27 Festival races.