O'Brien: Triumph favourite is on the right track
Joseph O'Brien believes JCB Triumph Hurdle favourite Landofhopeandglory is "on the right track" following the JP McManus-owned three-year-old's victory in the Grade 3 Bar One Racing Juvenile Hurdle at Fairyhouse on Sunday.
The son of High Chaparral, as short as 6-1 with Paddy Power and Ladbrokes to win the Grade 1 contest in March, defeated Bapaume by a cosy length, with O'Brien hoping the dual Grade 2-placed Flat performer can replicate the Dessie Hughes-trained Our Conor, who won the Fairyhouse Grade 3 event before landing the Triumph by an emphatic 15 lengths three years ago.
Our Conor landed the Grade 1 Spring Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown prior to his festival exploits, but O'Brien is yet to map out a route for his Triumph hope, who may well run over the Christmas period.
O'Brien said: "Barry [Geraghty] was happy with him and they sprinted down the last two up the straight which wouldn't have played to our horse's strengths but it was nice that he got away with it.
"There are still no decisions made about Christmas time. I haven't spoken to anyone yet, we'll see how he is during the week and that will be decided closer to the time. There's a long way to go between now and Cheltenham but this fellow seems to be on the right track and hopefully he continue to progress with each race."
'He ran a great race'
Last year's Triumph winner Ivanovich Gorbatov finished fourth behind Apple's Jade in the Grade 1 Bar One Racing Hatton's Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse on Sunday, an effort that enthused O'Brien, who is also likely to run the son of Montjeu later this month.
O'Brien wrote in his BoyleSports blog: "Ivanovich Gorbatov travelled and jumped very well in the Hatton's Grace Hurdle – between the last two you'd have thought he was in with a shout but he ran a great race all the same. We'll see what the ground is like everywhere over Christmas and I'd imagine we'll send him out.
"It was a great battle between Apple's Jade and Vroum Vroum Mag – they're two great mares."