Duffle Coat extended his unbeaten record with a tenacious last-to-first success in the JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle at Cheltenham.
The three-year-old made it four wins from as many starts to give trainer Gordon Elliott and jockey Robbie Power their first success in Grade Two prize.
Having been outpaced early on in the two-mile contest, the 2-1 second-favourite showed stamina is a strong suit as he forged clear from the last before staying on strongly up the run-in to defeat recent Warwick scorer Adagio by five lengths.
Power said: “I had no choice (but to sit at the back) as we had gone too quick and I was flat to the boards the whole way. To be fair to my lad he is really tenacious and a little terrier.
“From the top of the hill I gave him a little squeeze and he picked up underneath me. I wasn’t overly concerned as I thought we had gone quick on genuine soft ground.
“His stamina is his forte. Gordon says he doesn’t show a lot at home and that he is all about stamina and those strongly-run races suit him. “I’d imagine when his juvenile days are over he will be going up in trip.
Duffle Coat was cut to 12-1 favourite for the Triumph Hurdle in March by Coral, while Betfair went 16-1 for the same race.
Power added: “At this time of year it is hard to get a handle on the juvenile form, as you don’t know what is what.
“I’d imagine there will be more classier ones that come out than him as the season progresses, but there won’t be any more with more guts than he has. Ground doesn’t matter to him as he has won on good and soft.
“It is up to Gordon what he does between now and March, but he will have him good and fresh for then.”
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