Cheltenham Festival: Our Conor runs away with Triumph Hurdle

The 4-1 shot, ridden by Bryan Cooper, bounded clear from the second-last

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The Independent Online

Our Conor put up a scintillating display to run away with the JCB Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Never out of the first two, Dessie Hughes' youngster stretched his 100% record over jumps to four with an emphatic success.

The 4-1 shot, ridden by Bryan Cooper, bounded clear from the second-last to win unchallenged by 15 lengths from Far West (4-1) with Sametegal (33-1) a further two and a quarter lengths away in third.

Diakali, runner-up to Our Conor on their previous start, set a decent pace on the rain-softened ground with his old rival watching his every move.

Other fancied horses Far West and Rolling Star were on their heels until Our Conor was sent about his business two out.

Once Our Conor opened up, he left the field in his wake and had the race sewn up before the last.

He jumped that superbly and stormed up the hill to be one of the week's most impressive winners.

Cooper said: "I've never had a feeling like that before in my life, I was there a mile too soon.

"I sat for as long as I could but nothing could come with me.

"We popped the last and then he just idled up the straight, he has some ability.

"I knew we had the race won at the last so I sat back and just let him fiddle.

"He's got such a good cruising speed. I was glad the rain came as all his form was on heavy."

Hughes said: "That was wonderful, I can't believe he won by 15 lengths.

"He looked special. I would think he's a Champion Hurdle horse for next year."

Richard Hughes, the champion Flat jockey and Dessie's son, said: "Richard (Hannon) has a runner at Chantilly and two at Lingfield today - but I told him I wasn't going anywhere other than Cheltenham today.

"I remember watching Golden Cygnet and that was very similar.

"To be that good and so far ahead of the others at such a young age is amazing.

"My dad said he got ulcers thinking about him as a young horse so he always knew he was pretty good."