Ladbrokes are offering the best price on Grumeti winning the Triumph Hurdle at 5/1 in the Cheltenham odds, but it is Alan King’s other leading prospect that may be the one to pay closer attention to.
King does somewhat hold the Midas touch when it comes to juveniles and has particularly enjoyed the Triumph Hurdle in the past six seasons, saddling two winners, two runners up and a third.
Grumeti seems his leading challenger this year has done little wrong so far, showing that he has a strong-travelling nature in his races and an ability to battle right to the line, as he displayed at Cheltenham in January.
This was in a key Triumph Hurdle trial and although he lost by a short head to Pearl Swan, he was eventually handed victory after the stewards deemed that he had been interfered with.
Better ground than on that day will help his chances, alongside some sensible jumping at the early flights in particular.
Meanwhile, King’s comments that he would not swap Grumeti for any other Triumph Hurdle contender must be deemed a major positive to his chances.
Although Grumeti seems a worthy favourite, stablemate Balder Succes may prove the better bet at 8/1 to win the Triumph Hurdle.
King was initially against sending the horse to the Triumph because he had not raced on the Flat as a youngster in France, but it is hard not to be impressed by the way Balder Succes has won all of his four starts over hurdles.
Balder Succes has looked hardly tested to date, winning readily and stretching clear of his rivals on all starts when only slightly asked for more effort.
There could be a lot more to come and given the withdrawal of leading challenger Minsk after a poor weekend run, the Triumph Hurdle looks an open contest.