Tuesday 23 February 2010
ALAIVAN is now the favourite for the Grade 1 Triumph Hurdle following his 17-length domination of the Grade 2 Winning Fair Juvenile Hurdle at Fairyhouse on Saturday. Now trained by Edward O’Grady, ALAIVAN was winning the second of his three outings over timber after being bought privately from the Aga Khan Studs. He was previously a talented individual on the flat for John Oxx, winning a Listed contest and finishing a short-head runner-up in the Group 3 Gallinule Stakes last May. ALAIVAN is a Kalanisi half-brother to two Stakes performers including dual Group scorer Alayan, while his dam is a half-sister to Irish Derby and King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes champion Alamshar.
In the Triumph Hurdle on 19th March, ALAIVAN will attempt to follow in the footsteps of fellow Aga Khan-bred Zaynar (Daylami), winner of the 2009 renewal. The latter lost his unbeaten tag over hurdles on soft ground at Kelso last week but his trainer Nicky Henderson felt that he needed the race and will be at his best for the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
Third to Zaynar in last season’s Triumph Hurdle, MOURAD also has the 2010 Festival in his sights. The son of Sinndar has never been out of the first four over hurdles and he could line up in the Grade 1 World Hurdle after a fast-finishing second last time out in the Grade 2 Boyne Hurdle at Navan.
Another Aga Khan graduate who could be participating in jump racing’s blue riband meeting is ZARINAVA (Daylami). The mare opened her Pattern account with victory in the Grade 2 Doncaster Mares’ Hurdle on 6th February and is likely to contest the David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle during the Festival. ZARINAVA, who cost €26,000 at Goffs November breeding stock sale in 2007, descends from the same Petite Etoile line, via Zahra, as Arc heroine Zarkava.
Updated on 23/02/2010.