1pt win Master Blueyes @7/1, 13:30 Cheltenham, Friday

Defi Du Seuil is the correct favourite for the Triumph Hurdle having won all of his five starts to date. Those successes have generally come against fairly shallow small-field opposition where he has had the race at his mercy. As a result, it’s difficult to know how he will respond when he comes under pressure, and he will be in for a much stiffer test against a field of high-quality juveniles who could all have improvement in them.

The better ground may also be a factor, playing into the hands of some of his rivals, albeit it’s probably only a minor negative. His jumping has also not been the most fluent as demonstrated on some of his previous starts, but I am under no illusions that he is the one to beat. As we have seen in some of the novice/juvenile races this week, horses can improve leaps and bounds at this stage of their development and go in at big prices.

MASTER BLUEYES could be another to add to that list and is our pick. He’s a horse which seems to really excite his trainer Alan King, who commented that he has “never seen a horse come out of a race so well and improve as much” as he did after hosing up by 18l at Ludlow, and prior to taking on the re-opposing Charli Parcs in the Adonis Hurdle for the second time –  that means he must be mightily progressive.

The Adonis is a great trial for the Triumph, and Charli Parcs was well-fancied. Although we do not know how that race may have panned out given Henderson’s horse fell, Master Blueyes travelled and jumped much the better that day on good, gd-sft ground, and quickened away impressively to beat Evening Hush by 11 lengths without even taking a smack, so it is highly likely he would have reversed the form with him anyway.

Master Blueyes also had the Fred Winter winner Flying Tiger beaten by the best part of 20 lengths in the Adonis Hurdle. In any case, I don’t see how he can be twice the price of Charli Parcs, who has been hyped up by his yard over the last few weeks.

Other than Charli Parcs the only other horse to have beaten him was Divin Bere (who finished second in the Fred Winter) when he was perhaps still finding his feet over the obstacles, and even then that was a small margin defeat so his form has been firmly franked over the course of this week, which is not the case for Defi Du Seuil’s races.

A former flat-horse, the race may pan out in to a sprint and Master Blueyes should be built for that type of scenario. He remains open to plenty of improvement and can go very well under these conditions.

1pt win Master Blueyes @7/1, 13:30 Cheltenham, Friday

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