Neptune Novices Hurdle - Wednesday 15th March 2017 (Day 2)

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Re: Neptune Novices Hurdle - Wednesday 15th March 2017 (Day 2)

Postby Leicester Bigot » Sun Jan 08, 2017 9:58 pm

I am not worried at all by the bumper horses as they face a huge task having not been seen out yet. The Neptune tends to be won by horses who have made their seasonal debut before January. None of the two mentioned has even jumped a hurdle yet and Lucky Pass has been off for more than a year.

There is no guarantee that good bumper horses will make good Hurdlers anyway. Ballyandy was the Champion Bumper winner at Cheltenham but he is still a maiden over hurdles after three goes. Ballyandy is rated 135 over hurdles and Finian's Oscar is already superior to him, and by at least a stone in my opinion.

Even allowing for Capitaine being slightly overrated on 145, Finian's Oscar must be knocking on a 150 rating, at a trip arguable shorter than ideal. The Tizzard horse has tons of scope and if he is rated 150, he is already in Neptune winning territory. Yorkhill came in rated 151 last year, Faugheen came in rated 152, The New One was also 152 and Simonsig was rated 148 when he ran in the race.

There is a chance he could go for the Supreme Novices but he is 12/1 for that race and I think if the Tizzards were to do anything that might get Finian's Oscar beaten, it would be by running in the 2 miles race. The horse kicked off his career in a 3 mile point to point and if trying to land the Supreme after landing the Tolworth, he would by trying a double that I can only ever recall having been landed once in over 30 years of following racing. That horse was Forest Sun back in 1990 and that's rare enough for me to see it as a negative.

The Racing Post haven't put a new rating beside Finian's Oscar's profile yet but delving further reveals that they have him on 147. They rate Capitaine 142, which is 3 lbs lower than the official handicapper. I have no access to the Timeform figure for Finian's Oscar but sometimes they produce free to access special updates. Whatever the figure is, I would be shocked if it was not followed by the big P which indicates that they believe the horse is open to well above average improvement.

Sadly I didn't get 16/1 on Finian's Oscar but I did get 8/1 and recommended him at 6/1 as still value. I would still take 5/1 if not already on at bigger. The question has to be which horse you could confidently back against him? Based on previous years, I believe it would take a very special horse to match his credentials for this race.
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Re: Neptune Novices Hurdle - Wednesday 15th March 2017 (Day 2)

Postby The Market Man » Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:29 pm

The Pipes won two Arkles with once raced novice chasers so someone can win a Neptune with a horse making a hurdles debut after January 1st. Windsor Park made his hurdling debut on December 29th

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Re: Neptune Novices Hurdle - Wednesday 15th March 2017 (Day 2)

Postby Leicester Bigot » Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:46 am

The Pipes won two Arkles with once raced novice chasers so someone can win a Neptune with a horse making a hurdles debut after January 1st. Windsor Park made his hurdling debut on December 29th
I can't see what the Arkle has to do with the Neptune. One is a chase and the other is a hurdle race over 5F further.

Anything is possible of course, but you can't use stats for a completely different race to make a trends case for any given race.

Windsor Park was a late December debut but he had won three on the trot on the flat coming into his hurdles debut, with the last of those being on the 26th of October, meaning he was in cherry ripe condition. The two Bumper horses mentioned above have been off for a lot longer than that, and I see no entries for them at the moment. Windsor Park ended up going to the Neptune with three hurdle races under his belt and time is running out for a seasonal debutante to get that sort of experience under their belt in time for Cheltenham.

Colin Tizzard has said that Finian's Oscar should have one more run before going to Cheltenham and it would seem logical to go for the Classic Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham (Sponsored by Neptune) a race that has throw up winners at the festival the same year. That late January race would see Finian's Oscar pretty short for the Festival if he wins. I could see the Tizzard horse very short for the Neptune but, of course, that's just my opinion and I am just putting it out their for discussion and consideration, in order to perhaps assist other members.
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Re: Neptune Novices Hurdle - Wednesday 15th March 2017 (Day 2)

Postby jackh1092 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:19 am

My point regarding the bumper horses bears no relevance to the champion bumper and Ballyandy.

Lucky Pass and Blow by Blow are both Gigginstown as i am sure you are aware, were never aimed at the bumper. The main aim is obstacles for their best horses.

They are bought to improve for fences, but normally dont make bad hurdlers either!

The fact they have remained unbeaten in bumpers is a real positive. Blow by Blow beat Death Duty, which to be fair will have been an inadequate test for DD as we have seen this season he is a better horse over middle distances.

Augusta Kate was also in the process of pushing probably one of the best novices we have seen on only her 2nd start over hurdles. Ok, the hurdles are there to be jumped, but it was very promising. I struggle to think of her as a sub 140 horse, and with a 7pd mares allowance that puts her right in the mix for me.

I will let you discount them...Finian's Oscar looks very good, but at 5/1 or 6/1 he is not what i call value...
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Re: Neptune Novices Hurdle - Wednesday 15th March 2017 (Day 2)

Postby Brownie3 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:48 pm

Surely Death Duty now looks a 3 miler, rather than the Neptune.

Augusta Kate.....she could come into play here.

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Re: Neptune Novices Hurdle - Wednesday 15th March 2017 (Day 2)

Postby The Market Man » Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:46 pm

The Pipes won two Arkles with once raced novice chasers so someone can win a Neptune with a horse making a hurdles debut after January 1st. Windsor Park made his hurdling debut on December 29th
I can't see what the Arkle has to do with the Neptune. One is a chase and the other is a hurdle race over 5F further.
The very obvious point being that if trainers can win an Arkle with such an inexperienced chaser then it's possible for the Neptune . Fundamentalist won this race on his third start after making his debut in February

As for your point about Windsor Park and his three runs on the flat, i could ( using your argument ) discount it as they bear no resemblance to hurdles races.
Plenty of horses win at Cheltenham after an absence so race fitness isn't the issue we're talking about.

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Re: Neptune Novices Hurdle - Wednesday 15th March 2017 (Day 2)

Postby Leicester Bigot » Mon Jan 09, 2017 4:56 pm


The very obvious point being that if trainers can win an Arkle with such an inexperienced chaser then it's possible for the Neptune . Fundamentalist won this race on his third start after making his debut in February

As for your point about Windsor Park and his three runs on the flat, i could ( using your argument ) discount it as they bear no resemblance to hurdles races.
Plenty of horses win at Cheltenham after an absence so race fitness isn't the issue we're talking about.
Novice Chasers normally have jumping experience from hurdle races. With Flat horses coming to Hurdles, you are guessing how good they are over an obstacle. It's completely different.

Windsor Park had advertised his well being going hurdling. With horses on a break from the game, you are unsure how well they are coming back.

I would need to see the numbers of Cheltenham winners after a break as a percentage. "Plenty" is a vague and unhelpful term without the figures to prove it.

The Neptune stats show that most recent winners have form from before the turn of the year. Of course trends are there to be broken.

Interestingly, the Sporting Life had a think tank on the race, made up of a panel of three, who seemed joined at the hip regarding their views, somewhat negating the use of a think tank, but anyway, they all said they wouldn't take 6/1 Finian's Oscar. Well it looks like they won't be backing him at all then, because the 5/1 is drying up to 4/1 as we speak.

It's only my opinion but I feel Finian's Oscar will start short for the Neptune and he could well come up that hill in splendid isolation. It's pretty much guesswork with other contenders at bigger odds.
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Re: Neptune Novices Hurdle - Wednesday 15th March 2017 (Day 2)

Postby Leicester Bigot » Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:17 pm


Augusta Kate was also in the process of pushing probably one of the best novices we have seen on only her 2nd start over hurdles. Ok, the hurdles are there to be jumped, but it was very promising. I struggle to think of her as a sub 140 horse, and with a 7pd mares allowance that puts her right in the mix for me.

I will let you discount them...Finian's Oscar looks very good, but at 5/1 or 6/1 he is not what i call value...
Augusta Kate was running a good race but you would probably want 5/1 that Mullins would definitely run her in the Neptune :eyebrows:

The horses you mentioned earlier are both 25/1 and nobody could be blamed for a few quid on them if they fancy them. I just feel they have a good bit to prove for now.

The trouble with feeling Finian's Oscar was short at 6/1 is that it is highly unlikely that he'll ever be any bigger, so you have ruled yourself out of backing the horse at all. The 6/1 is gone and the 5/1 is going, as more firms are trimming him to 4/1 now. Paddy Power are going a stand out 12/1 on Death Duty for the Neptune, so it seems they feel they know something other firms are not aware of. If Death Duty is given the green light for the Albert Bartlett, Finian's Oscar can only contract further for the Neptune.

It's not a given, however I feel that there is a strong possibility that Finian's Oscar could go off seriously short for the Neptune and plenty of people will be thinking 6/1 was value in retrospect.

I think it is worth remembering that Thistlecrack was two years older than Finian's Oscar and having his 8th career start when he recorded his first significant career move when landing the Sefton Novices Hurdle at Aintree and earning a similar rating to Finian's Oscar by rising to 148. Amazingly, Thistlecrack was 25/1 that day :shock:

The next month should show us a lot more and the markets should start to take proper shape.
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Re: Neptune Novices Hurdle - Wednesday 15th March 2017 (Day 2)

Postby jackh1092 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:33 pm


Augusta Kate was also in the process of pushing probably one of the best novices we have seen on only her 2nd start over hurdles. Ok, the hurdles are there to be jumped, but it was very promising. I struggle to think of her as a sub 140 horse, and with a 7pd mares allowance that puts her right in the mix for me.

I will let you discount them...Finian's Oscar looks very good, but at 5/1 or 6/1 he is not what i call value...
Augusta Kate was running a good race but you would probably want 5/1 that Mullins would definitely run her in the Neptune :eyebrows:

The horses you mentioned earlier are both 25/1 and nobody could be blamed for a few quid on them if they fancy them. I just feel they have a good bit to prove for now.

The trouble with feeling Finian's Oscar was short at 6/1 is that it is highly unlikely that he'll ever be any bigger, so you have ruled yourself out of backing the horse at all. The 6/1 is gone and the 5/1 is going, as more firms are trimming him to 4/1 now. Paddy Power are going a stand out 12/1 on Death Duty for the Neptune, so it seems they feel they know something other firms are not aware of. If Death Duty is given the green light for the Albert Bartlett, Finian's Oscar can only contract further for the Neptune.

It's not a given, however I feel that there is a strong possibility that Finian's Oscar could go off seriously short for the Neptune and plenty of people will be thinking 6/1 was value in retrospect.

I think it is worth remembering that Thistlecrack was two years older than Finian's Oscar and having his 8th career start when he recorded his first significant career move when landing the Sefton Novices Hurdle at Aintree and earning a similar rating to Finian's Oscar by rising to 148. Amazingly, Thistlecrack was 25/1 that day :shock:

The next month should show us a lot more and the markets should start to take proper shape.
Agree with the majority of that..and yes my view is that others will also be pointed towards the neptune, and thus, FO will not start too much shorter than he is now...then the bookies offers will come into play and i think i would leave considering (as i've missed fancy prices) to nearer the time!

I actually think its fairly likely we could see Augusta Kate heading to the neptune after that run at the weekend...granted they may think after the fall its not worth the risk...but they can't be running Airlie Beach, Let's Dance, possibly Camelia de Cotte, Asthuria to name a few against eachother and then you add Augusta Kate to the equation...Ok there is Fairyhouse as well, but back to the initial point, i think theres a fair chance she runs..
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Re: Neptune Novices Hurdle - Wednesday 15th March 2017 (Day 2)

Postby The Market Man » Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:26 pm


The very obvious point being that if trainers can win an Arkle with such an inexperienced chaser then it's possible for the Neptune . Fundamentalist won this race on his third start after making his debut in February

As for your point about Windsor Park and his three runs on the flat, i could ( using your argument ) discount it as they bear no resemblance to hurdles races.
Plenty of horses win at Cheltenham after an absence so race fitness isn't the issue we're talking about.
Novice Chasers normally have jumping experience from hurdle races. With Flat horses coming to Hurdles, you are guessing how good they are over an obstacle. It's completely different.
Yet you use a few runs on the flat to assert that Windsor Park was ready ?
There's a lack of consistency in your argument, in my opnion, and slighly muddled as regards experience / race fitness. It might just be how we're phrasing things on an internet forum :P

" It's only my opinion but I feel Finian's Oscar will start short for the Neptune and he could well come up that hill in splendid isolation. It's pretty much guesswork with other contenders at bigger odds "
It's not guesswork for some of them and there remain plenty of unknowns for Finian's Oscar, too. Two wins on right handed tracks ( although his PTP win was left handed )

Anyway, as for my comment that " Plenty of horses win at Cheltenham after an absence "
There are races like the Supreme and RSA Chase where a recent run ( that calendar year ) is a strong trend. Other races, like the Gold Cup, which have been won by horses coming back from a break ( 9 of the last 15 hadn't raced that calendar year ) . Others are won by horses not seen since early January

The whole argument is based around the form of Finian's Oscar and the lack of competition at the head of the market. He's uncomplicated, hasn't raced keenly in either race and the track shouldn't be a problem - but there are others at bigger prices whom i'll back instead prior to their hurdling debut.If they don't run then this is a very weak renewal and those with a big price on FO could be laughing.

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Re: Neptune Novices Hurdle - Wednesday 15th March 2017 (Day 2)

Postby Leicester Bigot » Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:09 am

@Market Man

What I am saying regarding Windsor Park is that he made his Hurdles debut roughly two months after running up a hat trick on the Flat. We knew the horse was fit and well. Blow By Blow and Lucky Pass have winning bumper form but it is more than a year since one has run and it is getting on for nine months in the case of the other one. When/If they make their hurdles debut, it is going to be a significantly long time absent from Racing. They then have to win their debuts to be a realistic contender. If they do win, there is still the need to avoid any bounce, and, as I said, they managed to get three runs into Windsor Park before the Festival.

Looking at Blow By Blow, the horse has good bumper form but I see no entries at the moment and it's only 2 months to the race now. That's asking a bit to get some experience in in time and the horse has also changed stables. Lucky Pass doesn't have anywhere near the same form as Blow By Blow yet, and has a longer absence to defy, he has also switched from Mullins to Elliott and probably has a bigger chance of bouncing than Blow By Blow.

My point is that it is pretty hard to compare Windsor Park to these horse because he was fit and well on debut and came in smoothly to the race off an eight week gap. He was also able to take in another two races and gain experience for the furnace of Cheltenham.

I am not dismissing anyone's fancies for the race, just trying to put them into realistic context and highlight their task in tackling a very promising and young horse who has quickly reached a high level. You would probably have to stretch the imagination to see Gordon Elliott/Gigginstown throwing the three eggs of Death Duty/Blow By Blow and Lucky Pass into the one basket for Cheltenham and I would suspect it is possible Finian's Oscar may face one, or maybe even none, of them on the day.

The going could be a big factor as well, with Finian's Oscar likely to be well favoured if the ground is decent and he is probably one of the few here that you would fancy if the race were shorter and the slight suspicion that others might want 3 miles on less testing going.

The owners paid quarter of a million quid for Finian's Oscar and he looks money well spent, a good scopey horse who moves smoothly and I wouldn't be surprised to see him come on a good bit next time out. He was raised 14 lbs by the Racing Post for his Tolworth run and I feel a step forward to 160 is not unrealistic. If that were to transpire, it would take an exceptional horse to come into the Neptune on a similar mark.

Bookmakers may offer enhanced odds on the day but if Finian's Oscar wins next time he runs in good style, they will possibly be enhancing him from a low starting base. Time will tell. I have made my case for him.

Good luck everybody, let's hope we see a good winner for the future.
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Re: Neptune Novices Hurdle - Wednesday 15th March 2017 (Day 2)

Postby Leicester Bigot » Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:54 pm

Jockey Jack Kennedy has stated that he feels the Albert Bartlett is the right race for Death Duty. The pilot said he felt like a three miler when winning on him recently.

Finian's Oscar received a rating of 149 from the official handicapper for winning the Tolworth and there is less 5/1 around now, with only 5 firms going fives and 15 firms going 4/1.

Death Duty is generally 9/4 for the Albert Bartlett, with 14/1 Bar him, so there will be many long faces if he runs in the Neptune.
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