Ballyglasheen in Cheltenham shock

Ballyglasheen posted a 33/1 surprise in the JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial at Cheltenham on Saturday.

Evan Williams' charge had been keeping lesser company over the course of the autumn but he took the rise in class in his stride and posted a 33/1 surprise under Paul Moloney in the opening race on Cheltenham's card.

Cadoudoff was allowed the luxury of a soft lead but the challengers began to gather as they started the turn in and Kentucky Hyden appeared particularly well placed to prosper.

Barry Geraghty asked his mount to go on with two to jump as Commissioned and Vicenzio Mio waited in his slipstream, with the eventual winner in touch despite pecking on landing at that flight.

Vicenzio Mio was the first to crack as the four made their way to the last but Ballyglasheen was able to put his experience to good use, and he tenaciously saw off Kentucky Hyden as they fought out the finish.

Paul Moloney said of the winner: "He's quite similar to Barizan, he travels and he jumps so we'll see. But we'll enjoy today because it was a surprise, but racing is full of surprises."

Despite defeat, Barry Geraghty was happy with the performance of the second and commented: "It rode a nice race, we went a nice clip and the winner did it well. It was a good run and I'm sure he'll go on to better things as well."

Sky Bet introduced the winner at 33/1 for the JCB Triumph Hurdle and spokesman Michael Shinners said: "The winner did it well and we've introduced him at 33s for the Triumph, but there were a few disappointing efforts in behind and it remains to be seen if this race has a major impact on the big Juvenile race come March."