Baby Rockets Into The Triumph Hurdle Mix

Tom George appears to have a very bright prospect on his hands judging by the impressive British debut performance of Baby Mix (14/1) who caused a shock in the JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial at Cheltenham on Saturday in easily accounting for odds-on favourite Hinterland and is now the new favourite for the big race itself at the Cheltenham Festival in March, writes Elliot Slater.

Bred by well known French racing pundit Claude Charlet, Baby Mix only arrived at George’s yard a couple of months ago but connections had been hopeful that he would be useful on the evidence of some very decent work witnessed on the home gallops. With Hinterland sent off a 2/7 favourite on the strength of his easy defeat of subsequent winners Hollow Tree and Secret Edge in a Grade 2 event over course and distance last month, George would certainly have been satisfied had his three-year-old run into a place behind the market hotpot, but from the home turn it was clear that Paddy Brennan was going better than Ruby Walsh and once he asked Baby Mix to lengthen the response from the grey was immediate. People planning a Cheltenham bet should remember this.

Pinging the final flight the gelded son of Al Namix sailed clear of Hinterland before powering off up the hill to score by a comfortable seven-lengths, a victory that saw bookmakers react immediately by installing Baby Mix as the new 10/1 ante-post favourite for the Triumph Hurdle while pushing out Hinterland from his previous mark of 8/1 to 14/1.

Baby Mix had been a fair sort on the Flat in his native France in winning three times from eight outings at up to 13 furlongs so stamina was never likely to be an issue tackling two miles over hurdles. George has yet to come up with a plan for the next outing for his new star and will doubtless be giving the matter plenty of thought over the next week.