Neptune Investment Novices’ Hurdle Tips – Day 2 – Cheltenham 2015
Neptune Investment Novices' Hurdle
Day two of the 2015 Cheltenham Festival starts in a similar mould to the first day via another well backed Willie Mullins favourite, Nichols Canyon, taking aim at the Neptune Investment Novices’ Hurdle (1.30).
Money For Canyon
Punted into 3/1 during the build-up to this race, Nichols Canyon arrives with a tidy record of 3-4 over hurdles, including two Grade 1’s. The last of those was at Leopardstown last month (2m2f, yielding) where he took care of Windsor Park (6/1) by 3l, making all the running without coming under pressure. The only blot on his copybook to date was when unseating over Christmas, but the change if tactics to front running could work again at Cheltenham.
As for Dermot Weld’s 6yo, Windsor Park, who was well held by Nichols Canyon last time, then he has been the subject of money over the past week, and sees him trade currently at 6/1. Beaten even further in a Grade 1 previously, it’s hard to know why he has been supported unless he has been displaying good homework on the gallops.
One with better form in the book is another Mullins runner, Outlander (6/1), who lost by 1/2l to Martello Tower in a Grade 3 at Limerick (3m), before reversing form in January to beat the same rival over 3l. The step back to 2m4f helped him back to winning ways, and while he has a bit to find as a 7yo with the younger, Nichols Canyon (5-6yo’s best in this race), his ability to handle good to soft ground will be an asset.
Mullins also has multiple other options with the likes of Tell Us More (12/1), a narrow loser in a Grade 2 at Naas (2m4f, soft) who is open to stacks of improvement with only two runs under his belt – he won his maiden by 11l.
But, this race is no certainty for Willie Mullins, as John Ferguson’s 7yo, Parlour Games (6/1), has shown massive improvement this winter, landing a Grade 2 over C&D in November, prior to beating Vyta Du Roc (12/1) in a Grade 1 win at Newbury (2m5f, good to soft) over Christmas.
Put away since, Parlour Games will be relatively fresh for this assignment and may still have more to come, although the only negative is his age, as a 7yo.
Nicky Henderson’s, Vyta Du Roc, who just lost out at Newbury, could still be sent up in trip for the Albert Barltett, but will still hold each-way claims if taking his place here.
The British challenge has a touch more substance with Alan King’s Ordo Ab Chao (16/1), a Grade 2 winner over C&D in January, taking his hurdles record to 3-4. Rested since that 3/4l win, he could be the underestimated runner in the race, although he won’t want it to dry out too much.
Another Brit challenger who could represent each-way value is Rebecca Curtis’, Beast Of Burden (14/1), who progressed to win a couple of minor novices this year over 2m, and then 3m.
As this 6yo won his bumper on good to soft, a strongly run 2m5f on decent ground will suit, and he could surprise a few people.
Nichols Canyon is the class act and respected, but purely at the prices, Beast Of Burden has not done anything wrong, is a big improver and is related to some classy sorts. At 14/1, he looks good each-way value, while stakes are returned as a FREE BET should it finish second to the favourite.