Four Things We Learned: Solo to be triumphant in the Triumph

Solo was incredibly impressive at Kempton.
Solo was incredibly impressive at Kempton.

Joe Tuffin looks at four things we learned from this weekend's action, where we saw a new favourite for the Triumph Hurdle and a Grand National winner hang up his boots...

Solo sets the standard in the Triumph

It was hard to ignore the performance of the Paul Nicholls-trained Solo, who pulverised his opponents in a public schooling session at Kempton on Saturday. Well supported before the off, he took no time in taking a prominent position and when asked to extend his lead, he did so effortlessly. His main market principal and only opponent on form, Fujimoto Flyer, was devoid of an answer as Harry Cobden and Solo began to shrink into the distance, Cobden drawing the whip but returning it to his clutches after a peep over his shoulder revealed the lead he had.

That, for me, makes him the one to beat in the Triumph Hurdle. It has the potential to be a very smart renewal of the Juvenile event, but you can pick holes in the form of the other candidates - albeit pedantically. Goshen appears to possess countless gears - but has somewhat let himself down with a clumsy approach to his hurdles - where as Aspire Tower appeared to have no answers before falling at Leopardstown when last seen. That leaves Allmankind who, on the face of it, looks like the one that can serve it up to Solo after a facile success against some smart sorts when last seen over the Christmas period. But Solo was more eye-catching, the way he raced, jumped and drew clear was unbelievably professional and I’d be shocked if someone can match that come March.

They’re right not to go to Cheltenham with Andy Dufresene

The Cheltenham Festival, as incredible an event as it is, is not the be all and end all of National Hunt racing. It would therefore be foolish to send a horse there that doesn’t seem to have much of a chance, especially if there are ample races at home that present a better chance of success and prize money.

Andy Dufresene is exactly this horse, there is no doubt he has ability but he doesn’t seem to possess that little bit of class that would make him a bona-fide Grade 1 Cheltenham contender. Think Tim Henman in Tennis, or Theo Walcott in football, very good, but not great. His loss at the hands of Jason The Militant, who was given another pearler by the ever-impressive Rachael Blackmore, proves this.

Admittedly he was giving weight away to the whole field but given the hype that surrounded him after he was purchased for £330,000 as a four-year-old, you’d expect better. He clearly just isn’t the horse many anticipated despite still being a talented one, and they’ll probably bear more fruits by steering clear of Prestbury Park.

Keep your betslip to hand if you ever back William Henry

For me, there is nothing better than a horse that was seemingly outpaced and beaten rally home late on to win, and William Henry has built up quite the reputation of doing just that. His win at the weekend came in the most unlikely of circumstances, with Nicky Henderson’s ten-year-old a good 15 lengths off the leader Quel Destin in last place approaching the second from home. Such was the deficit he had to overcome that he was matched at 650/1 in-running, where as both Quel Destin and Thomas Darby went as short as 1.11.

It was a startlingly similar scenario to his Coral Cup win at last year's Cheltenham Festival, where the untrained eye would have completely missed him build up a head of steam on the standside rail to collar the tenacious Wicklow Brave. He hit 300/1 in running that day, showing once again that he has the late charge mastered to a tee. If you back him again, don’t screw your bet slip up until it's over!    

We waved goodbye to Leighton Aspell

There is a strong feeling of a change in the weighing room at the moment, as some of the sports veterans that have graced the game for decades gone by are hanging up the saddle for pastures new. Leighton Aspell is the latest to join that list, with the two-time Grand National winner announcing on Saturday that this weekend would be his last. He has already retired before, in 2007 before returning two-seasons later - a smart move given he recorded back-to-back wins in Jump racing’s richest race during his second stint - but this time, he says, it’s for good.

With Noel Fehily and Ruby Walsh, two legends of the game both on and off the track, stepping down last season, and Andrew Thornton doing the same a year prior, there is an obvious changing of the guard. The likes of Harry Cobden, Jack Kennedy, James Bowen and even more recently Jonjo O’Neill Jr are starting to pick up the big rides, and it’s surely only a matter of time before one of the aforementioned challenges for a Champion Jockey title. If they do, they’ll have to dethrone a man in Richard Johnson who already had a Grade 1 under his belt before any of them were even born... 

The Cheltenham Festival
Advert Disclaimer
Horseracing.net is a free online resource which endeavour to provide helpful and useful content and odds comparison to its visitors. Please be advised that Horseracing.net accepts affiliate commission from the companies appearing on the site, and agreed commission levels impact the location and order in which the companies (and/or their products) are presented on the website. Any ratings that appear on this site is determined by our subjective opinion of the brand but also based on market share and reputation, each brand's conversion rates, commission paid to us and general consumer interest. Company listings on this page don't imply our endorsement. We do not feature all providers on the market. Except as expressly set forth in our terms and conditions, all statements and warranties regarding the information presented on this page are disclaimed. The information, including odds, which appear on this site is subject to change at any time.

Bet £10 Get £20 + £10 Casino Bonus

#AD New UK customers (Excluding NI) mobile only. £30 in FREE Bets (FB) as £20 in sports bets & a £10 casino bonus (CB). Min stake £10. Min odds Evs. FB applied on 1st settlement of any qualifying bet. FB 7 day expiry. 1 FB offer per customer, household & IP address only. Payment restrictions. 14 days to accept £10 CB, then active for 3 days. CB 5x wagering & max redeemable £100. Game restrictions apply. Cashed out/Free Bets won’t apply. 30 days to qualify. 18+. T&Cs apply
Double the odds, any sport, any bet, any odds!
#AD 18+ begambleaware.org Only valid for new registrations to Grosvenor Existing members do not qualify, Bet must be placed using real money in combination with the Odds Boost Token, Offer applies to Sport bets only. Max stake is £10. Each way bets are a maximum of £5 each way (£10 total). Customers have 60 days after registration to use the Odds Boost token. T&Cs apply.
Bet £20 & Get it Back As CASH If It Loses
#AD New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any Horse Racing market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using cards will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Welcome Offer
#AD Bet £10 & Get £50 in Free Bets for new customers at bet365. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. The bonus code SPTS365 can be used during registration, but does not change the offer amount in any way.
Bet £10 Get £30 In Free Bets
#AD 18+. Play Safe. New customers using Promo code R30 only, Min £10/€10 stake,  min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 3 x £10/€10, free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply.
Bet £20 & Get it Back As CASH If It Loses
#AD 18+ begambleaware.org Max £20 refund on first bet. Bet must be placed in first 7 days of account opening. Only deposits made via Debit Card will be eligible for the promotion. T&Cs apply.  
Bet £10 Get £60 in Bonuses
#AD New UK customers only. Register using the promo code BETFRED60, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+) within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £20 in Free Bets to be used on Sports, £10 in Free Bets to be used on Lotto and 50 Free Spins (20p per spin) credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. Further £20 in Free Bets credited 5 days after settlement. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £30 Free Bets (APP Only)
#AD New UK, IE & Malta customers only. 18+. Min £10/€10 first deposit using Debit Card or Trustly. Place a bet of £10 at min odds of 1.5. Free bets expire in 90 days. Full T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £30 Free Bets + £10 Casino Bonus
#AD Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager bonus amount x40 within 14 days • Wagering req. vary by game • Withdrawal restrictions and Full T&C’s apply. 18+ begambleaware.org
Bet £10 Get £30 Free Bets
#AD Offer includes a free £1 Race Index spread bet to try out our exciting 50-25-10 race markets. Place a £10 fixed odds bet at minimum odds of 1/2. Get 2 x £10 free fixed odds bets + 2 x £5 free Winning Favourites spread bets. Bet with live streaming on all racing and greyhounds! Ts&Cs Apply. 18+ begambleaware.org
£35 Free Bet + 10 Free Spins
If your account has Sportsbook losses at the end of your first day's betting, QuinnBet will refund 50% of your losses as a Free Bet up to £35 (min 3 bets) Plus 10 Free Spins. Even if your account is up, you're guaranteed a £5 Free Bet Plus 10 Free Spins provided you place at least 1 bet of £10 or greater at the minimum odds. T&Cs apply | 18+ New UK Customers Only | BeGambleAware.org
50% Up To £50 Welcome Bonus
#AD 18+ begambleaware.org; New bettors get 50% of deposit up to £50; Once per household; Min deposit £15 (no Skrill/Neteller); Wager a total of 8 times deposit + bonus, with max qualifying bet stake equal to your initial bonus amount; Bonus expires after 60 days; Min odds of 4/5 on singles, or 2/5 per leg for acca; Some bet types excluded; See full terms.
Latest racing results
Kempton
20:20
1stDuty Of Care
2ndMotazzen
3rdSashenka
Kempton
19:50
1stBelloccio
2ndPurple Ribbon
3rdSiskany
Kempton
19:20
1stAussie Banker
2ndAguaplano
3rdDembe
View All Today's Results