Past Winners » Our Conor


I thought about backing Our Conor for the Triumph on Saturday morning as well as for Saturday’s race, but that would have been effectively a two-point investment, and that was just a little more than I wanted to have. I thought, best to back him for Saturday’s race, then back him for the Triumph Hurdle afterwards if he wins or runs well, and if I am wrong about him, then just one point lost, not two.

There is even more to like about Dessie Hughes’ horse now than there was before Saturday’s race. Impressive in winning his first two races over hurdles, his enthusiasm for racing and for jumping hurdles has not wained an iota in his short absence from the racecourse, and he showed an ability to travel well behind a fast pace on Saturday. More than that, he showed an ability to quicken off it, going from behind a high-class horse in Diakali to two lengths in front of him in the space of 200 yards. Also, he stayed on well all the way to the line.

As well as the strong visual impression that this performance made, there was also significant substance to it. This was the hottest juvenile contest run in Ireland this year by far, and possible the hottest one run anywhere. Diakali and Blood Cotil were probably Willie Mullins’ best juveniles going into the race, and they finished second and fourth respectively, while the third horse, Ruacana, brought British form into the race, having won the Grade 1 Finale Hurdle at Chepstow on his previous run, albeit a little fortuitously.

The jockeys who rode in the race said that it rode like a good race, and the time was really good, comparatively the second fastest time on a top class day’s racing, and a full five seconds faster than the time that Tennis Cap clocked in landing the competitive handicap hurdle run over the same course and distance.

As well as that, the Spring Juvenile Hurdle has proved to be a really good pointer to the Triumph Hurdle in the last two years. Unaccompanied won it in 2011 before going on to finish second to Zarkandar in the Triumph Hurdle, while last year’s Triumph Hurdle runner-up, Hisaabaat, won the Spring Juvenile Hurdle, when he had last year Triumph Hurdle winner, Countrywide Flame, back in third place.

Our Conor is still over-priced in my book for the Triumph at 6/1.