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Andy Stewart (left) - David Johnson - Ascot

Andy Stewart (left) and David Johnson own Brinestine

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham (  

Triumph clues on offer with Brinestine in action

THE last horse Paul Nicholls trained to win the JCB Triumph Hurdle did not make his jumps outing until the month before Cheltenham and new recruit Brinestine on Thursday seeks to follow Zarkandar's lead when he makes his introduction against classy company at Huntingdon.

An eight-length handicap success on his final Flat outing at the Curragh in October sent Brinestine soaring in the ratings to a mark of 89 but he must prove himself equally adept in a very new discipline when making his jumping debut for Nicholls in a quality running of the 32Red Hurdle.

Huntingdon's long-established Triumph trial, better known as the Chatteris Fen Hurdle, plays host to a number of contenders for the juveniles' championship, including the John Quinn-trained Doncaster winner Calculated Risk, who like Brinestine, trades at a general 33-1 in the ante-post market.

Victory for either horse on Thursday would almost certainly trigger a reduction in their Cheltenham odds and there is a degree of enthusiasm for the chances of Brinestine, who represents owners David Johnson and Andy Stewart.

Johnson said: "He has pleased Paul since coming over from Ireland but I do think that Paul's horses are better for their first run so I expect him to come on for the run.

"Even so, I wouldn't be surprised if he started favourite and he must have a big chance. He finished in Ireland with a good Flat rating and he has been going nicely at home."

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