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'Put a line through the Triumph' - Tritonic camp retain faith in top prospect

Tritonic: won twice over hurdles before finishing fifth in the Triumph
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Saturday: 2.55 Cheltenham
Masterson Holdings Hurdle | 2m½f | 4yo | ITV4/ RTV

Max McNeill believes Tritonic can "put to bed" a below-par effort in the Triumph Hurdle and give his true running in a race connections have been targeting for four months.

Tritonic was last seen finishing eighth in a handicap at Royal Ascot and now looks to rekindle his hurdling career which started in flawless fashion – with victory at Ascot before a wide-margin success in the Grade 2 Adonis in February.

He was then sick after finishing a long way behind Quilixios in March and his owner retains the faith he can develop into the top-notch two-mile hurdler he always wanted.

"Ever since Royal Ascot we've had this race in mind," McNeill said. "On ratings we've got it all to do to beat the Dan Skelton horse but I think this is a nice starting point.

"We took the decision to give him a proper break after Royal Ascot to train him as a jumps horse. We're happy to put a line through the Triumph because he was sick, so we hope to put that to bed then see where we go afterwards."

He added: "We seem to have a lot of two-and-a-half mile and three mile horses but I've always wanted one over two. We've still got aspirations that he's going to be good and if he's to run in graded hurdles then he's got to be winning."

His biggest danger is the Dan Skelton-trained Stepney Causeway, a winner of his last four starts and is 5lb better off than Tritonic on official ratings.

Stepney Causeway: attempting to land a fifth win on the trot under Harry Skelton

"I've been very happy with him at home, the ground won't be a problem and he likes going left-handed," said Skelton. "Taking on Tritonic is no easy task but he has a fair rating himself and he gets weight off him. I'm looking forward to giving that a go."

Nigel Twiston-Davies holds I Like To Move It in the highest of regard but admits the four-year-old faces a tough test on only his second start over hurdles.

The trainer said: "He won well at Worcester but he could jump a bit flatter and faster. That all comes with experience though. We're going there realistically looking for place money. We think masses of him but he's a bit much to think he'll beat the more battle-hardened horses."

Outsider Twoshotsoftequila completes the four-runner line-up.

Read more Saturday previews

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3.30 Cheltenham: Can Sky Pirate and Nick Scholfield plunder another big Cheltenham prize?

4.05 Cheltenham: Will go-to claiming rider Jordan Gainford strike another blow for the Irish?

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We've still got aspirations that he's going to be good and if he's to run in graded hurdles then he's got to be winning
E.W. Terms