Triumph Hurdle Result: Tiger pounces in Triumph

Davy Russell won the Triumph Hurdle on Tiger Roll
Davy Russell won the Triumph Hurdle on Tiger Roll

Tiger Roll oozed class when scooting up the hill to win the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham...

Tiger Roll oozed class when scooting up the hill to win the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham




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Davy Russell was back in the Gigginstown House Stud colours, replacing the injured Bryan Cooper, and he was always travelling well on the Gordon Elliott-trained youngster. He had Guitar Pete and Kentucky Hyden for company over the last, but Russell kicked him clear for a three-and-a-quarter-length win from the latter.

The unlucky horse was Calipto, back in fourth, as Daryl Jacob had major tack issues approaching the second-last, doing very well to keep the partnership intact.

Tiger Roll made his debut at Market Rasen for Nigel Hawke, after which Gigginstown snapped him up. On his first run for Elliott he was second to Guitar Pete in Grade 1 company, but Elliott had said all along he was not afraid of taking on that rival again and he turned the form around in no uncertain terms.

It was vindication for Russell, who lost his job as number one rider for Gigginstown halfway through the season.

Ruby Walsh took a crunching fall early on from Abbyssial, and was subsequently taken to hospital, forcing him to give up his rides for the rest of the day.

Winning owner Michael O'Leary said: "It's wonderful. I'm delighted for Gordon Elliott. He's a brilliant trainer. He's been having a tough week as well. It's lovely to get one on the board, even if we had to wait until the last day."

Paul Nicholls was left to rue his luck with Calipto, saying: "It's just the way the week's gone, the leather snapped and it was a simple as that. He nearly got brought down when Ruby's horse fell and whether something happened then, I don't know.

"The leather snapped coming to the second-last and that was that. It's unbelievable. He's a super horse and will be a lovely runner next year. We have to look forward not back now."

The mood from the Paul Nicholls and Daryl Jacob camp soon improved, however, as Lac Fontana won the County Hurdle.

Jacob produced Lac Fontana (11-1) with a perfectly-timed run on the nearside rail to collar Arctic Fire up the hill and land the spoils by half a length, while Montbazon, who led over the final flight, was a length back in third with Diakali fourth.

Jacob said: "It's been a very testing week for us all. It's a good team effort from everyone and at the end of the day there can only be one winner. You can only keep looking forward.

"We're all thinking about the guys that are injured, like Jason (Maguire), Bryan (Cooper), now Ruby (Walsh) and of course JT (McNamara) but this is the place we all want to win."

He added of the winner: "He's very, very tough and he kept finding all the way."

Nicholls said: "It's been so frustrating (trying to get a winner during the week). Daryl probably needed that more than anyone really, he was on a real down and that will be just what he wanted.

"I told him to just get out there, put everything behind him and that this will win, you have to be positive."

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