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Sir Erec seeks to make mark in Triumph Hurdle

11 Mar 2019

The Camelot colt has impressed over hurdles since running with distinction on QIPCO British Champion Day.

Sir Erec and Mark Walsh win the Grade 1 Tattersalls Ireland Spring Juvenile Hurdle. Photo Healy Racing /

It is rare for a horse who has made an impact in the QIPCO British Champions Series to be a hot favourite at the Cheltenham Festival.

But that will be the case on the Friday when Sir Erec, trained by Joseph O’Brien, lines up in the JCB Triumph Hurdle – the first race on Gold Cup day.

The son of Camelot was having only his fifth run on the Flat when third to Stradivarius in the QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot in October on Champions Day.

He indicated that day he could be a  leading force in the staying division for years to come, and he could still be.

However, instead of having the winter off he has been in action over jumps – twice winning in good style at Leopardstown.

On the latter occasion, he made all in Grade 1 company and, with his exploits on the Flat no doubt a factor, he is a general 5/4 to preserve his unbeaten record on Friday when he will race in the colours of JP McManus for the first time.

Sir Erec is still a colt and, if successful, would be the first entire to win at the Festival since Alderbrook, the 1995 Champion Hurdle winner.

He is quoted at between 8/1 and 20/1 for the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in June.