Past Winners » Jumbo Rio


I think they have got it a little wrong here by putting Mourad in at odds-on and putting Jumbo Rio in at 4/1. There is nothing between Mourad and Edward O’Grady’s horse on their Irish form, indeed, if anything, Jumbo Rio comes out on top. Okay, so Mourad ran a hell of a race to finish third in the Triumph Hurdle and Jumbo Rio was disappointing, but the O’Grady horses were going through a quiet spell at the time, they just weren’t firing, and the signs are a lot better these days.

The Fist Of God stayed on really well to land the Grade 3 four-year-old hurdle at Fairyhouse a couple of weeks ago, and he is fresh after being off the track almost all winter, but that Fairyhouse run was on good ground, and Noel Meade’s horse probably does need good ground to be at his best. Tharawaat looked like being one of our very best juvenile hurdlers at the start of this season, and he will handle the ground, but he has been largely disappointing, and has been shown up as being just below the very best.

Mourad and Jumbo Rio are a fair way ahead of the rest in my book and, if you forgive Jumbo Rio his Cheltenham run, he comes out ahead of Mourad. He made a significant mistake at the second last in the Spring Hurdle at Leopardstown in February, their last duel before Cheltenham, yet he still beat Mourad by a length and a half. He is too big this morning at 4/1.