Adonis Juvenile Hurdle Tips: Impulsive looks the One at Kempton

Alan King's Tritonic won the Adonis last season
Alan King's Tritonic won the Adonis last season

One of the final premier Cheltenham Festival trials takes place at Kempton Park on Saturday, as the Grade 2 Adonis Juvenile Hurdle will see a host of exciting four-year-olds do battle in the 2m contest, and our man Steve Chambers provides his thoughts on the event and selects his tip for the race...

A solid performer on the Flat for Andrew Balding, Knight Salute has blossomed since switching to the National Hunt sphere, and under the stewardship of Milton Harris has duly racked up a string of four wins out of four over timber to propel his name into the Triumph Hurdle picture. Currently a 16/1 chance for the Friday opener at the Cheltenham Festival, Knight Salute will attempt to cement his place in the juvenile showpiece next month by claiming victory in Saturday's Adonis Juvenile Hurdle, which is often a key trial for the Triumph.

The likes of Penzance, Soldatino and Zarkandar have all won the Adonis en route to Triumph glory and in Knight Salute there's an exciting youngster who appears to be going from strength to strength. He showed his credentials when bounding to victory in the Triumph Hurdle Trial at Cheltenham two starts ago, but it was his beating of Porticello in the Grade 2 Summit Juvenile Hurdle at Doncaster that well and truly launched him into the limelight. Since that win on Town Moor, the form has been franked significantly with Porticello going on to bound to Grade 1 glory in the Finale at Chepstow, while he was a facile winner of the Victor Ludorum last weekend at Kempton. A real solid performer at this level, Knight Salute is entitled to be a short-priced favourite for this contest, but there's next to no value in his price, and it could be worth looking elsewhere for a bet.

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Cheltenham Festival 2022

The aforementioned Zarkandar was a French bred who made a winning British debut for Paul Nicholls in the Adonis, and the Ditcheat handler will be looking to emulate that feat at the weekend as he saddles Rubaud, who has been purchased from France. Fourth in a Group 3 at Longchamp two starts ago, Rubaud could take some time to come to hand, and it's no surprise to see him around the 12/1 mark. Nicholls other raider could be a leading player, however, as Pleasant Man, who makes his hurdling debut, was a smart performer on the Flat for Roger Charlton and was last seen winning at Yarmouth.

Rated in the mid-90s, this son of Galileo is around the 16/1 - 20/1 mark for the Triumph, but it's the 4/1 about Saturday's race that will catch the eye of many. Arguably a better horse on the level than Knight Salute, he will face a rival that has lots of experience over obstacles, and that could be the stumbling block that sees him fail to start his career over timber with a win.

Five-times winner of the race Nicky Henderson will aim to bag a spectacular sixth win in the race, and he will saddle IMPULSIVE ONE, who has been a real model of consistency this term, and could be the value play against the favourite at around 13/2. A mediocre performer on the level for William Haggas, the Seven Barrows inmate made an immediate impact over hurdles when winning his first two races over timber. However, he was beaten by Knight Salute on his next two starts, so he has form to find with the Harris raider.

A spin on the Flat at Wolverhampton showed very little, but he was last seen bounding to glory in the Listed Triumph Hurdle Trial at Musselburgh, and if he can kick on from that effort then he has to be a player. Winning readily by four lengths north of the border, Impulsive One is only entered for the Boodles Juvenile Hurdle at Cheltenham - a race he's 20/1 for - but he can't be underestimated here, and if Knight Salute isn't on his A game then the Henderson charge could pounce.

Moka De Vassy is yet to get his head in front yet for Jane Williams, but he was a fine second to leading Triumph Hurdle contender Pied Piper at Cheltenham last time out, so he could have an each-way squeak at 7/1, while the Lucy Wadham-trained Graystone has won two of his last three races and heads into the contest in excellent form, and is another of interest at single figured odds.

Gary Moore's Teddy Blue failed to win on his British debut at Lingfield, but is sure to come on for that experience and adds more depth to a race that can be dominated by those towards the head of the betting, and the value play could lie with Henderson bagging a sixth Adonis crown with Impulsive One, who can boost his Cheltenham Festival chances with a win.

Adonis Juvenile Hurdle
Impulsive One silk

Impulsive One

lost
Cheltenham Tips
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