Which horse won the Triumph Hurdle Trial and the Triumph Hurdle in 2017?

The Finesse Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle also known, for sponsorship purposes, as the JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle, is a Grade Two contest, run over 2 miles and 179 yards on the New Course at Cheltenham and restricted to four-year-old novice hurdlers. The race is staged annually, in January and, as the name suggests, is intended to serve as a preparatory race for the Grade One JCB Triumph Hurdle, run over the same course and distance, at the Cheltenham Festival the following March. That said, since the inception of the Finesse Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle, in 1985, just two horses have won both races. Indeed, Katchit, who did so in 2007, went on to win the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival the following year.

A decade later, Defi Du Seuil, owned by John McManus and trained by Philip Hobbs, was sent off 1/5 favourite to beat three rivals in the JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle and did so in taking style. Always travelling strongly under jockey Barry Geraghty, the Voix Du Nord gelding went clear in the closing stages to easily beat Rainbow Dreamer by 9 lengths. Consequently, Defi Du Seuil again started favourite, at 5/2, for the JCB Triumph Hurdle and duly obliged once again. With reigning champion jockey Richard Johnson deputising for the injured Geraghty, Defi Du Seuil led between the last two flights and stayed on strongly to beat Mega Fortine by 5 lengths.

How many times has Tiger Roll won at the Cheltenham Festival?

At just under 16 hands high, Tiger Roll is small for a steeplechaser and was, in fact, originally bought by owner Michael O’Leary to win the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. However, Tiger Roll proved significantly better than anticipated, winning the Grade One Triumph Hurdle, on just his second start for his new connections, in 2014.

Subsequently, despite his diminutive size, fences have been the making of him. Of course, in April, 2019, he made history by becoming the first horse since Red Rum, in 1974, to win the Grand National two years running, but he also has three further successes at the Cheltenham Festival to his name. He won the National Hunt Chase in 2017 and the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase two years running, in 2018 and 2019, en route to victory in the Grand National.

Still only a nine-year-old, Tiger Roll takes the odd liberty with an obstacle but, although he did once unseat his rider in a novices’ chase at Galway, when bumped by a rival at the second-last fence, he has never fallen. So, while Michael O’Leary has said that Tiger Roll is ‘very unlikely’ to run in the Grand National in 2020, another win in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase – which would be his fifth at the Cheltenham Festival – looks within the realms of possibility.