Joseph O’Brien-trained Sir Erec suffers fatal injury
Pentland Hills causes a 20-1 shock in the JCB Triumph Hurdle on final day at Cheltenham
Nico de Boinville onboard Pentland Hills clears the last on the way to winning the JCB Triumph Hurdle. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho
Tthe opening event on the final day of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival was marred by the death of hot favourite Sir Erec, who broke down mid-race. Pentland Hills ran out a shock 20-1 winner of the JCB Triumph Hurdle for Nicky Henderson and Nico de Boinville.
With Chris Wall on the Flat, he did not make his hurdling debut until the end of last month when winning at Plumpton.
Back in 1985 First Bout won the corresponding race at Plumpton and later went on to become Henderson’s first Triumph Hurdle winner.
De Boinville had plenty in front of him coming down the hill, as Quel Destin, Coeur Sublime and his stablemate Adjali were still in contention.
Pentland Hills was still moving sweetly on the long run to the last, though, and powered up the hill to beat Gordon Elliott’s Coeur Sublime by three lengths, with Gardens Of Babylon third.
The winner was given a 25-1 quote for next year’s Champion Hurdle by Paddy Power.