Marsh Warbler New Triumph Hurdle Favourite After Sam Winner Disappoints.

Stan James

Tagged under: 1.30 JCB Triumph Hurdle 2m 1f

The 2011 Triumph Hurdle looks a wide-open affair at this moment, with several horses seperated by only a few points at the head of the ante-post betting.

Long time market leader Sam Winner was expected to consolidate his position in Chepstow's Grade 1 Coral Future Champions Finale Juvenile Hurdle after two impressive Cheltenham victories, but Paul Nicholl's charge could only finish a disappointing fourth behind easy winner Marsh Warbler.

Trained at Malton by Brian Ellison, Fearghal Davis's mount made most of the running and had little trouble in holding off Houblon Des Obeaux and Smad Place, to shoot to the head of the Triumph Hurdle betting.

Ellison has always held the son of top miler Barathea in high regard, saying : " We knew he was a good horse but when you go down south and take on the big boys you're not sure what will happen.

" He's a really improving horse and still seems to be improving."

Regarding a trip to the Festival, Ellison issued a word of caution, saying: " We'll look at the Triumph Hurdle now but if it came up fast, he wouldn't run.

" If it's good to soft he'll probably take his chance but if it's quick we might just wait for Aintree or if that didn't happen then there's Punchestown."

Marsh Warbler is now no bigger than 10/1 for Triumph Hurdle glory on March 18th, while Sam Winner has drifted out from 4/1 to a best price 12/1 with Bet365 and Stan James.

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