Neptune Investment Novices’ Hurdle Trends – Cheltenham 2015
Neptune Investment Novices' Hurdle
Staged over 2m5f and often a race that throws up a future Champion Hurdle contender, such as Willie Mullins’, Faugheen, who won the 2014 renewal.
Trainers & Jockeys
That victory for Faugheen in this race for Mullins was the trainer’s third in the last seven years, all of whom were partnered by Ruby Walsh. Another trainer worth respect is Nigel Twiston-Davies, who first won the prize in 2004 and then again in 2013.
As with a number of major Grade 1 events at the festival, fancied runners very much dominated the Neptune down the years,
…with all bar one winner (Massini’s Maguire at 20/1 in 2007) having returned at 12/1 or shorter – all of which came from the first four in the betting. In other words, avoid outsiders!
Age & Experience
Should punters be thinking of backing a horse that isn’t a 5-6yo, then they may want to review matters before parting with their cash, as that age bracket was responsible for each of the last 10 winners, in the process counting against 31 losers of other ages.
A good record over hurdles was also evident, with runners to have won 66% or more of their career hurdle runs providing seven winners at 13%, which reads much stronger than those with a lesser strike-rate over hurdles that provided just three winners at 3-96 (3%).
Another handy pointer comes via the horse’s breeding, as all bar one winner was Irish or French-bred (9%), and such runners should be favoured more than the British-bred performers (GB), as they failed to fire, finding the winner just once in 2012 for a miserable record of just 1-40 (3%).
Winning form last time out was a positive, as such in-form runners came out triumphant on eight occasions (10%), leaving those who met with defeat last time in the winner’s enclosure on just two occasions at 2-69 (3%).
The grade of race experienced directly ahead of Cheltenham is another factor to take into consideration as participants of Grade 2 or 3 races last time out managed to score seven times since 2005 (17%), where as those from outside that company were 3-106 (3%).
The last two winners of this race had an official rating of 152, fitting the overall theme going back 10 years, with runners rated 138 or higher hitting the bullseye eight times; in the last six years, winners were rated 152, 152, 148, 142, 148 & 155. Performers rated less were only 2-96 (2%) since 2005.
Trends Summary (British & Irish form only)
Of the last 10 Neptune winners…
10 were 5-6yo’s (8%) – others were 0-31
9 returned 12/1 or shorter (16%) – the remainder were 1-94 (1%)
9 were Irish or French-bred (9%) – the Brits were 1-40 (3%)
8 were officially rated 138 or higher – others were 2-96 (2%)
8 won last time out (10%) – others were 2-69 (3%)
7 won 66% or more of their hurdle runs (13%) – others were 3-96 (3%)
7 ran in a Grade 2 or 3 race last time out (17%) – others were 3-106 (3%)