Pentland Hills wins Triumph Hurdle in race marred by Sir Erec injury

Pentland Hills won a dramatic Triumph Hurdle after heavy favourite Sir Erec suffered a serious injury and had to be put down. 
The race was marred by the injury sustained four fences from home and the previously joyous atmosphere on the final day of the Festival turned cold.  
Pentland Hills made a big error at the first but the 20-1 shot came through to win in style with Coer Sublime second and Garden of Babylon third.  
With Chris Wall on the Flat, he did not make his hurdling debut until the end of last month when winning at Plumpton.
Back in 1985 First Bout won the corresponding race at Plumpton and later went on to become Henderson's first Triumph Hurdle winner.
Nico De Boinville had plenty in front of him coming down the hill, as Quel Destin, Coeur Sublime and his stablemate Adjali were still in contention.
Pentland Hills was still moving sweetly on the long run to the last though, and powered up the hill to beat Gordon Elliott's Coeur Sublime by three lengths, with Gardens Of Babylon third.
The winner was given a 25-1 quote for next year's Champion Hurdle by Paddy Power.
Henderson said of the winner: 'He nearly fell at the first. I was then thinking, "Nicky Henderson, I'm not sure it is a good idea", but then the rest was good.
'The amazing thing is when he won at Plumpton I was very impressed with him. He was so professional racing, and professional jumping.'
The Seven Barrows handler also paid tribute to Sir Erec, adding: 'Sir Erec was a gorgeous horse, he was just stunning.
'That goes and happens and your heart goes out to them, as JP (McManus, owner) is a good mate and is one of the great men of National Hunt racing.' 

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