Zarkandar Enters Triumph Hurdle Picture After Adonis Victory

William Hill

Tagged under: 1.30 JCB Triumph Hurdle 2m 1f

Zarkandar, a half-brother to the great French mare Zarkava, made the perfect start to his jumping career with new trainer Paul Nicholls, when running out a clear-cut winner of Kempton's Adonis Juvenile Hurdle.

The son of Azamour was allowed to go off at odds of 8/1 against some highly thought of opposition in the Grade 2 contest, but supporters had little to worry about as Daryl Jacob's mount only had to be pushed out after hitting the front at the second-last.

The Adonis has always proved a significant Triumph Hurdle trial, won last year by Soldatino, who went on to Festival glory for trainer Nicky Henderson.

The winning jockey was surprised by the toughness shown by the lightly raced gelding, saying: " It was testing old ground and he took a while to pick up on it, but he's a very well-bred horse and I think he has a future.

" He put his head down and really battled - I got there a bit soon but I didn't expect him to pick up like that on this ground."

While Nicholls is slightly apprehensive regarding the competitive nature of a race like the JCB Triumph Hurdle for a horse with only one run over hurdles, he is likely to target the race, saying: " I was very nervous about running him on this ground but he did everything impressively and he has a bit of class.

" I wanted to run him in a good race and after that he'll go to the Triumph."

Available at 33/1 before today's race, Zarkandar is now a general 10/1 shot for the race on Friday 18th March, although bookmaker William Hill were the least impressed, quoting the horse at a stand-out price of 14/1.

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