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Nelson River stakes Triumph claims with Trial victory at Cheltenham

© Photo Healy Racing

Nelson River maintained his unbeaten record since switching codes after staying on powerfully to take the JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Having hit a flat-spot in the two-mile-one-furlong prize, Tony Carroll’s charge picked up both long time leader Katpoli and Fanfan Du Seuil up the run in before defeating the later by a length to add to his victory at Bangor last month.

Following the race, the winner was introduced at 40-1 for the Triumph Hurdle with Sky Bet.

Carroll said of the 6-1 victor: “It was not a surprise as he is a nice horse. He stays well and he has taken to jumping. He is a young horse and really he has had not much racing.

“I think the horse is still learning. He is a horse that is moving forward and has a bright future.

“Of course they would like to come back for the Festival. Today was a day to see where we were. We’ve always liked him. He is a lovely horse but they’ve still got to do it on the track.

“It was tough out there for juveniles and he has done it really well.”

Drovers Lane earned a step up in class after giving weight and a beating to his rivals to make it three wins from four starts over fences in the Ryman Novices’ Chase.

After also carrying top weight to victory at Market Rasen last time out, the Rebecca Curtis-trained six-year-old followed up when holding on the running on Le Breuil by a length and a half.

Curtis said of the 3-1 winner: “We always thought he was a good horse. Until you come here and take on the better ones, you never know what you’ve got. He proved it today that he is very nice.

“Sean (Bowen) said he will get further, but he said they went a good gallop there.

“I think he will probably have a little break now and we will definitely be thinking of something at the Festival for him.

“We tried to be careful before as we thought the 0-145 novice here would be ideal, but he is going to go up for that. We will have a look at the Graded races.

“I think we will look at both the two-and-a-half and three-mile ones. Neither will be weak, but we will go for the easier one.”