Apple's Shakira keeps grip on Triumph Hurdle market with dominant display at Cheltenham

Sat 27 Jan 2018

Watch a full replay of the JCB Triumph Trial won by Apple's Shakira at Cheltenham on Saturday and Stewart ?Machin's interview with Barry Geraghty.

Apple's Shakira added to her unbeaten record in the JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle at Cheltenham, although she was made to work hard for her victory.

Sent off the 1-7 favourite having been ultra-impressive in her two previous outings for Nicky Henderson, she briefly looked in trouble turning into the straight.

Tom Scudamore stole a few lengths from the front on John Quinn's Look My Way and Barry Geraghty had to ask a few questions of the filly approaching the last but she ultimately ran out an eight-length winner.

The big disappointment of the race was Philip Hobbs' French import Elixir De Nutz, who finished last.

Henderson said: "Barry said at the last meeting she'd like better ground.

"She had to work there, but she's very lazy at home. She had to come out and race but she won't run again.

"We've had to wait for better ground for a lot of these horses and it will be the same next weekend, but they've got to run."

Henderson went on: "One thing she loves doing is jumping, she's very slick and solid at it. "She did what she did and she went away. They didn't hang about, I thought they went a reasonably good gallop.

"She's always having a buck and a kick at home, but when you go to do work, you wonder how on earth did she win a race?

"Barry said ideally something like the Adonis would have been a great race to get the better ground, but we were always coming here.

"It's job done and away we go. She'll have multiple entries but I'm thinking the Triumph."

Geraghty said: "It's tough work out there, she settled better today and travelled great.

"I was always trying to switch her off and then had to switch her back on. She had loads in the tank and there's a lot to like.

"It's workmanlike conditions and better ground will only help her."

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