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Cheltenham Festival Bet Of The Week: Sir Erec To Triumph For Joseph O’Brien

Irish trainer Joseph O’Brien looks to have a stranglehold on the Triumph Hurdle with Sir Erec fancied to beat stablemate Fakir D’oudairies.

SIR EREC – 7-4 with Betvictor. 1.30pm Cheltenham Friday 15th March.

SIR EREC - 7/4 with Betvictor 7/4 BetVictor

Irish trainer Joseph O’Brien lost little time in making his mark at the Cheltenham festival when sending out Ivanovich Gorbatov to win the 2016 Triumph Hurdle, despite the horse being registered in his father Aiden’s name. Three years on the young handler looks to have an outstanding chance of winning the juvenile contest for a second time, the question is with which of his two leading fancies?

Fakir D’oudairies shot to the head of the ante-post Cheltenham festival betting for the 2m 1f contest after spreadeagling his field at Cheltenham last month, coming home by thirteen lengths from stablemate Fine Brunello with 5-4 favourite Adjali back in third. The ex-French gelding looked very impressive at Prestbury Park but the victory of stable companion Sir Erec at Leopardstown on Sunday could arguably be rated even higher considering the level of opposition together with the manner in which the Camelot gelding jumped and travelled.

Third, beaten two and a half lengths by champion stayer Stradivarius in the Group 2 Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot last October, Sir Erec is one of the classiest recruits to hurdling during the last few years and the four-year-old could well end up a national hunt star of the future based on his first two starts over the smaller obstacles. Beating the Willie Mullins inmate Tiger Tap Tap by a neck on his debut at Leopardstown over Christmas while not setting the world alight was still a hugely promising effort. The horse’s next run at the same course on Sunday however proved far more enlightening.