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James Owen reveals Burdett Road Triumph plan B with Cobden NOT a guarantee


JAMES OWEN will hand the plum Burdett Road ride to James Bowen if Harry Cobden is a no-go.

The juvenile has rocketed to the top of the betting for the Triumph Hurdle after two easy wins this season under Cobden.

Burdett Road has excelled over hurdles since winning at Royal Ascot


Burdett Road has excelled over hurdles since winning at Royal AscotCredit: Getty

But Owen knows Cobden’s boss, Paul Nicholls, could need his man at the Festival.

Owen, who also entered his horse for the Champion Hurdle yesterday, is ready to run him once more before the big one.

He said: “We want Harry to ride Burdett Road as he has built up a good relationship with the horse. I know Harry is keen to be on him but if Paul comes calling then he may have to ride for him. We’ll cross that bridge if we need to but we have a Plan B.

“James Bowen has been in to school and he has ridden for the Gredleys lots, too. He’s top-class and riding very well at the moment.

“The horse is in brilliant form. We will run once more before the Festival.

“The race on Trials Day is our first idea but he will be entered for the Dublin Racing Festival as well. Then it is full steam ahead to the Triumph.

“He’s very exciting and Harry has always said how much he likes him as a horse.”

Burdett Road, already a Royal Ascot winner on the Flat, is just 4-1 for the Triumph.

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Yet up-and-coming Owen has given him the option of taking on Constitution Hill in the Champion Hurdle too.

He said: “It is very much an ‘in case’ entry. The plan is the Triumph and always has been.

“We wanted the option just in case. He would get a good allowance but it’s not just Constitution Hill there are a lot of other good horses in there.

“The entries for the Champion Hurdle closed before the Triumph Hurdle so we didn’t want to think ‘what if’ afterwards.”

Meanwhile, Harry Cobden will likely find out this weekend if he can ride Burdett Road, writes MATT CHAPMAN.

Nicholls’ No1 will partner the well-touted Kalif Du Berlais, part-owned by Sir Alex Ferguson, at Kempton this Saturday.

The trainer said: “We probably don’t have a Triumph contender this year but if we do it will be Kalif Du Berlais.

“If he wins well on Saturday he could be a contender. Most of mine this year are real National Hunt types or too backward.”

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