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  • 12:55 JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial 2m 1f

  • (Registered As The Finesse Juvenile Hurdle) (Grade 2) £25,000 added 4yo 6 ran
  • Winner £14,238 2nd £5,342 3rd £2,675 4th £1,332
  • Going: Good to Soft
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 4m 8.70s
  • Off time: 12:55:21
  • Stewards Inquiry - Amended Result

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View from connections: JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial

Last Updated: 27/01/12 5:15pm

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Baby Mix: Tom George doesn't know how good he might be

Baby Mix: Tom George doesn't know how good he might be

A clash between two of the current market leaders for the Triumph Hurdle lights up the undercard at Cheltenham on Saturday.

Grumeti and Baby Mix go head-to-head in the JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial, with the winner likely to be a warm order for the juvenile championship in March.

Grumeti impressed on his hurdling debut at Taunton in December, defeating former smart Flat performer Ted Spread by 14 lengths.

He then looked the real deal during a juvenile hurdle at Newbury - only to slip up after the second-last flight but such was the striking impression left by that performance, Grumeti was still cut in price by most bookmakers for the Triumph Hurdle.

No Ill Effects

He has shown no ill effects since, and trainer Alan King is keen to get some experience of Cheltenham's undulations before March.

King said: "It was very encouraging to see that Grumeti has suffered no lasting effects from that recent fall at Newbury when he schooled on Monday morning.

"He jumped our set of three hurdles three times and was foot-perfect, and, having had a blow-out (on Thursday), he looks in top form.

"We will go to Cheltenham rather than taking the easier option of Taunton on Tuesday.

"It will do him good to get some experience of the track if we are heading for the Triumph."

In The Dark

Tom George is still somewhat in the dark as to how good Baby Mix is following his easy victory at Cheltenham.

"It's difficult to know what the form is worth," said George.

"He did it so easily, but I don't know if Hinterland was at his best that day, what we do know is that we've got an exciting horse on our hands.

"We've done nothing serious since that last day, we've just done the same as before to keep it simple.

"It's nice to have a horse like him and he's very exciting.

"It's a very good race and we'll learn an awful lot more about him."

Major Contender

Another major contender is Donald McCain's Hollow Tree, already a Grade One winner on heavy ground at Chepstow, while Pearl Swan, trained by Paul Nicholls, has won his only race to date.

One who has not made the race, however, is the Philip Hobbs-trained Sadler's Risk.

"He's fine and I think they just want to give him an extra week. It's only two weeks since he won at Kempton," said stable jockey Richard Johnson.

"He's probably just going to have one more run before Cheltenham and it is just a case of getting the right run into him.

"It is all about getting him right for March. I schooled him this week and he's in great form at home."

Venetia Williams runs Tango De Juilley who has bumped into useful stablemates of Grumeti in two runs in Britain since arriving from France.

Aidan Coleman takes the ride and wrote in his weekly blog: "He's probably the best juvenile we've got, but he's up against the best four-year-olds in the country and this probably looks the best race of its kind this year. That said, he's entitled to be there on the back of his two seconds and looks to be a consistent horse in the making."

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