Past Winners » Ivanovich Gorbatov


I have kicked around the idea of backing Ivanovich Gorbatov for the Triumph Hurdle since he won his maiden hurdle at Leopardstown on the second day of their Christmas Festival, and I have decided this morning to back him at the 6/1 that is still freely available.

It is a little frustrating that he was available at 12/1 for the Triumph immediately after his Leopardstown win, but, visually impressive and all as the performance was, subsequent events have made the performance even more impressive. He was 8/1 and 7/1 the following day when the market started to assimilate all the information. He is only 6/1 now, but I still think that he is value at that.

He ticks just about every box. His Leopardstown performance was visually impressive, and it was rock solid in terms of substance. He beat a really highly-regarded filly of Willie Mullins’ in Let’s Dance, and he beat her impressively. She had been backed down to favouritism for the Triumph Hurdle before that race, and she was sent off the 4/7 favourite for it, but Ivanovich Gorbatov beat her really well.

She appeared to run her race too, it is probable that she is as good as her reputations suggests. She jumped well and she came clear of the third horse.

Ivanovich Gorbatov also jumped well, really well for a debutant. He travelled well, he moved up on the outside of Let’s Dance around the home turn, and he picked up impressively when Barry Geraghty asked him to. He won nicely, by more than two lengths, and he could have won by more.

Crucially, the winning time was top notch. It was the fastest of the four two-mile hurdles run on the day. It was 3.4secs faster than the time that Long Dog clocked in winning the Grade 1 novices’ hurdle later on the day, it was 6.9secs faster than the maiden hurdle and it was 7secs faster than the handicap hurdle that Copy That won. That is really impressive for a juvenile who was making his debut over hurdles.

There is more to JP McManus’ horse than just that performance too. He is a really classy recruit from the flat, he ran a promising race on his only run on the flat at two, and he won his two races as a three-year-old. He was an impressive winner of a one-mile-seven-furlong handicap at Leopardstown off a mark of 97 on his last run on the flat.

He achieved a rating of 105 on the flat, which in itself is a high-class flat horse to be going hurdling. But he achieved that after just three runs on the flat, just two as a three-year-old. He probably could have gone significantly higher than that if he had remained on the flat.

He stays well, he stayed a mile and seven furlongs on the flat well, and that is a positive in the context of the Triumph Hurdle. It is a staying race for juvenile hurdlers. By Montjeu, he is a well-bred horse.

Finally, he handled the soft ground at Leopardstown well, but all his form on the flat was on good or fast ground. He really is rock solid.

His next target is reportedly the Spring Juvenile Hurdle. He will be favourite for that and, if he wins it, he could be a very short favourite for the Triumph Hurdle.