Sir Gino’s path to the Triumph Hurdle: Will he prevail?


As anticipation builds for the 2024 Cheltenham Festival, all eyes are on Nicky Henderson’s esteemed yard as the veteran trainer prepares to unleash his equine stars on the hallowed turf of Prestbury Park. 

However, with the news that Henderson’s stable star Constitution Hill could miss out on the defence of his Champion Hurdle crown, Seven Barrows have potentiallybeen dealt a massive blow ahead of this year’s Festival. 

If the multi-time Grade 1 winner doesn’t get back to full fitness in time for the prestigious meeting, it will be devastating for the racing enthusiasts hoping to catch a glimpse of his might in the opening day’s feature race. 

But the show must go on, and Henderson’s strong contingent will be led by Sir Gino. At 8/13 in the Triumph Hurdle 2024 betting, the exciting four-year-old will be Seven Barrows’ shortest-priced horse at the Cheltenham Festival. 

The weight of expectations will be on Sir Gino and his rider Nico de Boinville, so let’s look at his journey to the Triumph Hurdle and assess whether or not he is worth playing or laying in the opening race of the final day. 

Victory on French debut

Sir Gino’s voyage to the Cheltenham Festival began roughly 400 miles away from Prestury Park at Auteuil, a track in Paris that is known as ‘The Temple of French jump racing’. 

The then three-year-old was trained by Carlos and Yann Lerner and made his debut in the Listed Prix Wild Monarch last April. 

Sir Gino raced keenly under Tanguy Andrieux in the early stages but kicked clear with a rival two out, and pushed along in the closing stages to win by almost two lengths. 

Seven Barrows debut

After having wind surgery in September, Sir Gino was purchased by respected owner Jessica Donnelly and joined Henderson in October. 

There was a lot of excitement for his debut at Kempton on December 27, and he won the Juvenile Hurdle as well as expected — quickening approaching the last and streaking to a 14-length win over Royal Way. 

Graded success

Sir Gino stepped up in class for his second outing with Henderson, going to Cheltenham Trials Day for the Grade 2 Finesse Juvenile Hurdle in January. 

Regarded as a prep race for the Triumph Hurdle, the market could barely split Sir Gino and the James Owen-trained Burdett Road — with the latter the slight favourite. 

Sir Gino proved the bookies wrong, however, pressing the leader before the last and going clear on the run-in to win by 10 lengths from his market rival. 

The Triumph Hurdle

The Triumph Hurdle itself now awaits Sir Gino, and there’s no doubt that Henderson’s young star in the making is going to take all the beating at the Cheltenham Festival. 

What is a slight concern, is that his rivals in the betting are from Willie Mullins’ yard. Majborough, Kargese, and Storm Heart — who were the 1-2-3 in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown in February — are hot on his tail and can’t be ruled out. 

Sir Gino is a worthy favourite for the Triumph Hurdle though, and he could be worth considering for your Cheltenham welcome offers

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