sport

Rutherglen on Triumph trail

John Quinn feels he has a realistic Triumph Hurdle contender on his hands after Rutherglen turned over Irish raider Orgilgo Bay at Bangor.

Snapped up out of George Baker's yard for 40,000 guineas having shown a decent level of ability on the Flat, Rutherglen won comfortably when odds-on for his hurdling debut at Wetherby.

He was second best in the betting for the Northern Racing Club 'Saturday Naps Challenge' Juvenile Hurdle, however, with John McConnell's Punchestown scorer Orgilgo Bay the 8-11 favourite.

The two battled it out from the off, but it was clear leaving the back straight that the front-running Rutherglen was travelling much the better of the pair under Jason Maguire.

Orgilgo Bay weakened very quickly, while Rutherglen safely negotiated the final obstacle to seal a 21-length victory.

Newcomer Mr Vendman came through to finish a clear second, with Orgilgo Bay a further 26 lengths away in third.

Quinn said: "I think he's a fair horse. You can only beat what's put in front of you and I haven't seen many three-year-olds win like that under a penalty.

"He's definitely a Triumph Hurdle horse, but I'd like to get four runs into him before he goes to Cheltenham or Liverpool (Aintree).

"There is the Grade One at Leopardstown in early February that Countrywide Flame finished third in, but ideally I'd like to get another run in before that."

Sky Bet make Rutherglen a 25/1 chance for the JCB Triumph Hurdle.