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  • 13:30 JCB Triumph Hurdle 2m 1f

  • (Juvenile Grade 1) £120,000 added 4yo 17 ran
  • Winner £68,340 2nd £25,644 3rd £12,840 4th £6,396
  • Going: Good to Soft, Good in places
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 4m 11.10s
  • Off time: 13:32:43

Cooper counts on Conor

Last Updated: 15/03/13 7:37am

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Our Conor: Ticks all the boxes

Our Conor: Ticks all the boxes

Jockey Bryan Cooper believes his JCB Triumph Hurdle mount Our Conor boasts excellent credentials ahead of his date with destiny on the final afternoon of the Cheltenham Festival.

Dessie Hughes' charge is unbeaten in three starts over hurdles, graduating from a Navan maiden win to Grade One victory via a Grade Three success at Fairyhouse in December.

Cooper said: "He's in very good order and we are all looking forward to it. He jumps so quick and he's got a really good technique. He's ticking all the right boxes and hopefully he can go there with every chance."

Willie Mullins is under no illusions about the task facing Diakali, but his form was given a boost on Wednesday when Flaxen Flare, whom he beat 28 lengths on his penultimate start, won the Fred Winter.

He said: "It's going to be hard to beat Our Conor from Dessie Hughes' yard but out fellow will be an each-way price."

Paul Nicholls sends out three contenders in Far West, Lac Fontana and Sametegal, but there is no doubt the first-named is his leading hope.

He was last seen when beating older rivals at Ascot last month and is the choice of Ruby Walsh. The jockey said: "I rode him like a stayer at Chepstow and Cheltenham and he showed he stayed, yet at Ascot I got a guide on what sort of horse he is and he showed a really impressive turn of foot to beat River Maigue. I think he'll run a really big race."

Nicholls is similarly upbeat, and compares Far West favourably with his previous Triumph winner Zarkandar, who finished fourth in Tuesday's Champion Hurdle.

He said: "He jumps great and has been working with Zarkandar and has improved enormously over the winter. He has got everything and is a proper little racehorse. Ruby is looking forward to the Triumph.

"Far West would compare favourably with Zarkandar. I suspect he will end up remaining over hurdles next season and could be really interesting."

Nicky Henderson sends Rolling Star, who is the choice of Barry Geraghty, and Vasco Du Ronceray for the two-mile-one-furlong heat. Rolling Star was a winner in France last October before making a winning British debut in the race formerly know as the Finesse Hurdle at this track in January.

That form was boosted when runner-up Irish Saint landed the Adonis Hurdle, beating Vasco Du Ronceray in the process. Part-owner Michael Buckley said: "I'm thrilled about him - he looks as if he might be a decent horse. Nicky's thrilled with him and he's probably my best shot of the week."

Henderson said: "He is a lovely horse and did it very well at Cheltenham. We decided not to run him again as he was professional and thorough."

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