Duffle Coat (2/1) stretched his unbeaten record to four when coming from off the pace to capture the G2 JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle.
Gordon Elliott’s three-year-old, conceding 5lb to all seven of his rivals after capturing Wetherby’s Listed Wensleydale Hurdle, was restrained at the rear by Robbie Power as Cabot Cliffs set a good gallop in front.
Adagio reeled in the long-time leader turning for home but was himself headed after the last by the staying-on Duffle Coat, who went away up the run-in to prevail by five lengths. Paddy Power cut the winner to 16/1 from 33/1 for the G1 JCB Triumph Hurdle at The Festival™ in March.
Robbie Power said: “Duffle Coat produced a good performance there. I think they went too quick throughout the race and you can read what you want into the form, but I just think on soft ground we have gone very fast.
“Duffle Coat stays well and when his juvenile days are over, I think he will be stepping up in trip. I was flat to the boards the whole way, but to be fair to my lad he was tenacious. When we got to the top of the hill, I gave him a squeeze and I wasn’t overly concerned. It is really soft ground, but stamina is Duffle Coat’s forte. Those strongly run races really suit him.
“Duffle Coat has a great attitude and has had four runs now, so he has loads of experience. At this time of year, it is hard to get a handle on the juvenile form as you don’t know what’s what.
“He was giving 5lb away on soft ground. He is just a real, tough honest horse. You can’t beat a horse with an attitude like his. He is honest and tough. He was flat to the boards the whole way, but he was tenacious and stayed galloping all the way.
“He is a strong stayer, that’s one way of describing him. Gordon said to me before the race that he doesn’t show an awful lot at home, but he keeps winning and that’s the kind of horse you want.
“There will probably be classier juveniles will come out in the next couple of months, but there will be none more tenacious and gutsy than he is.
“He started picking up coming down the hill and Jonny Burke and Keith Donoghue said to me don’t force him early on and he’ll come home strong, and that’s exactly what he has done.
“Gordon will have plenty of options for him and I imagine when his juvenile days are finished, he will be going up in trip. As I say, he hasn’t run on the Flat yet either so he can go back and do that next summer as well. Look, he’s a nice horse to have as you’ve got plenty of options.”
12.30pm JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m 87y
1 Duffle Coat – Gordon Elliott IRE 3-11-03 Robbie Power 2/1
2 Adagio – David Pipe 3-10-12 Tom Scudamore 6/1
3 Balko Saint – Jane Williams 3-10-12 Ciaran Gethings 18/1
11/10 fav Hell Red (PU)
Distances: 5, 4¼
Tote Win: £3 Places: £1.10 £1.60 £3.60 Exacta: £14.50 Trifecta: £81.50