Soft ground makes Unaccompanied the one to beat

Any rain in the days leading up to the Cheltenham Festival could substantially increase the chances of Unaccompanied surging to victory in the Triumph Hurdle.

No Irish horse has tasted victory in the novice hurdle in nine years since Scolardy’s 2002 triumph and Dermot Weld’s four-year-old perhaps represents their best hope in the upcoming renewal.

Unaccompanied is currently second favourite in the Triumph Hurdle betting at 6/1 and has won on both of her hurdles starts to date.

Importantly, this pair of victories have both arrived on heavy ground and Weld believes that the underfoot conditions will have a major bearing on her chances of securing success at the Cheltenham Festival.

Weld said: “She loves a good give in the ground, she’s very effective on soft ground, and whether she’ll be as fast on a fast surface is debatable.

“I think she’s very good, but she is ground dependant.”

The Timeform Ratings also give Unaccompanied a boost as she is considered to be on par with current 5/1 Triumph Hurdle favourite Grandouet.

Furthermore, Unaccompanied is already a winner in Grade One company as she ran on well in the closing stages to fairly comfortably defeat Sailors Warn in the Tote Jackpot Races 3-6 Spring Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown last month.

Sailors Warn is also set to take his chance in the Triumph Hurdle and could represent decent each way value as he has only finished outside of the first three once in 12 starts, which was when fourth at Fairyhouse in December.

It is 33/1 in the Triumph Hurdle betting that Sailors Worn ends Ireland’s wait for a victory.

Other fancied British contenders include A Media Luz at 10/1 in the Triumph Hurdle odds and Sam Winner, who is ranked highest in the Timeform Ratings, and also 10/1.

A £25 stake on Unaccompanied winning the Triumph Hurdle would return £150. New customers can sign up here for a free £25 bet.


Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.