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Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle
Wed March 16th 2011
 

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First Lieutenant Earns Salutes in Neptune
16/03/11

1 First Lieutenant 7/1
2 Rock On Ruby 13/2
3 So Young 2/1 Fav
12 ran Distances: shd, 4½l, 2¼l
TIME 5m 10.50s (slow by 9.50s)

Mouse Morris returned to the Cheltenham winner’s enclosure as First Lieutenant emerged the winner from a tight photo-finish to the Neptune Investment Novices’ Hurdle.

First Lieutenant
© Grossick Racing Photography

First Lieutenant

The trainer of 2006 totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup winner War Of Attrition had his nerves tested as the Davy Russell-ridden winner crossed the line in unison with Rock On Ruby.

It required the judge to split them and it was Morris’ six-year-old who was awarded the win by a short head.

Rock On Ruby had to settle for second with the third-placed So Young not helped by a mistake at the final flight.

Morris said: “It was a very, very slow race and wasn’t a real stayers race but he still had to go and win and he had the luck of the race.

“He stuck his head out in the right place and he is a nice sort with a lovely temperament.

“It is worse watching them than riding them as when you are riding you can get down and walk away. I have got to stay with him all day!

“It turned into a bit of a sprint which would not suit him as he has a high cruising speed rather than a turn of foot.

“Davy gave him a great ride and I don’t think I have seen a rider give a winning horse a bad ride.

“Today was the plan so I don’t know what we will do next but chasing will certainly be his game.”

Boylesports quote the winner at 12/1 for next year’s RSA Chase and Paddy Power offer him at 16/1 to win a Gold Cup anytime.

 

Position
Horse
Trainer
Jockey
Weight
Starting Price
Beaten Distance
1
First Lieutenant
M F Morris
D N Russell
11st 7lbs
7 - 1
Winner
2
Rock On Ruby
P F Nicholls
D Jacob
11st 7lbs
13 - 2
Short Head
3
So Young
W P Mullins
R Walsh
11st 7lbs
2 - 1
4 1/2 lengths
4
Oscars Well
Mrs J Harrington
R M Power
11st 7lbs
4 - 1
2 1/4 lengths
5
Megastar
G L Moore
J E Moore
11st 7lbs
16 - 1
1 1/2 length
6
Minella Class
N J Henderson
B J Geraghty
11st 7lbs
10 - 1
Nose
7
Aikman
J Ewart
Harry Haynes
11st 7lbs
33 - 1
2 1/2 lengths
8
Ohio Gold
C L Tizzard
J Tizzard
11st 7lbs
100 - 1
1 1/4 length
9
Habbie Simpson
A King
R Thornton
11st 7lbs
25 - 1
6 lengths
10
Highland Valley
Miss E C Lavelle
Jack Doyle
11st 7lbs
50 - 1
6 lengths
Fell
Accordintolawrence
C E Longsdon
Felix de Giles
11st 7lbs
100 - 1
Pulled Up
Tornado Bob
D McCain Jnr
J M Maguire
11st 7lbs
10 - 1
       

 

FIRST BRINGS FOURTH FESTIVAL WIN FOR GIGGINSTOWN AND O’LEARY

Ryanair boss Micheal O’Leary, owner of Ireland’s Gigginstown House Stud and First Lieutenant, was naturally delighted with his last-gasp winner.

He said: “I think that’s our fourth win at the Festival but it feels just as good as the first one.

“Mouse [Morris] put him away at Christmas. I thought he didn’t have the experience to win here but Mouse thought he did. Davy [Russell] just gave him a peach of a ride - he said he was always going to win.

“He’s by Presenting and you always hope that the Presentings will improve a couple of pounds here at Cheltenham - War Of Attrition is by Presenting, Denman’s by Presenting.”

O’Leary, who also has Carlito Brigante in the Coral Cup and Magnanimity in the RSA Chase, added: “There’s no such thing as a bad field at the Festival. It’s very hard to win races here so you have to enjoy it when you can.

“The Irish are doing well but I’m pretty sure that by the end of the week the English will have beaten us and that will probably be the same when the rugby team arrives in Dublin on Saturday.”

 

ROCK ON RUBY GIVES BEST TO LIEUTENANT

Rock On Ruby - 2nd
© Grossick Racing Photography

Rock On Ruby
Rock On Ruby was beaten a short-head by late-surging winner First Lieutentant, but trainer Paul Nicholls could take comfort in defeat.

Referring to Al Ferof’s win in yesterday’s Stan James Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, Nicholls said: “Judging on that run we’ve got the two best English novice hurdlers.

“This is a nice horse and he does everything right, but he just didn’t quite have enough in the finish. He might be better suited to Aintree. Two and a half miles round there might be ideal. I’m very pleased with him.”

Willie Mullins, trainer of third-placed So Young, said: “He didn’t jump the last perfectly, but otherwise it was a very good run on what was only his third start over hurdles.

“He’ll head to Punchestown next.”

 

Previous results - NEPTUNE INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT NOVICES’ HURDLE

2010-WINNER-PEDDLERS CROSS 5-11-07 Owner-Tim Leslie; Trainer-Donald McCain; Jockey-Jason Maguire; SP-7/1
2ND-Reve De Sivola 5-11-07 Owner-Paul Duffy Diamond Partnership; Trainer-Nick Williams; Jockey-Daryl Jacob; SP-15/2
3RD-Rite Of Passage 6-11-07 Owner-Dr Ronan Lambe; Trainer-Dermot Weld IRE; Jockey-Mr Robbie McNamara; SP-7/2 Fav
17 ran, Time-5m 2.77s Dist-1½, 3¾

2009-WINNER-MIKAEL D'HAGUENET 5-11-07 Owner-Susannah Ricci; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-5/2 Fav
2ND-Karabak 6-11-07 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Alan King; Jockey-Tony McCoy; SP-4/1
3RD-Diamond Harry 6-11-07 Owner-Paul Duffy Diamond Syndicate; Trainer-Nick Williams; Jockey-Timmy Murphy; SP-4/1
14 ran, Time-5m 17.10s Dist-1¾, 3¾

2008-WINNER-FIVEFORTHREE 6-11-07 Owner-Olde Crowbars Syndicate; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-7/1
2ND-Venalmar 6-11-07 Owner-Michael O’Flynn; Trainer-Mouse Morris IRE; Jockey-Paddy Flood; SP-11/1
3RD-Trafford Lad 6-11-07 Owner-Butler Family Syndicate; Trainer-Eamon Sheehy IRE; Jockey-Tom Doyle; SP-9/1
15 ran, Time-5m 2.20s Dist-nk, 4; 4/1 Fav Aigle D’Or (13th)

2007-WINNER-MASSINI’S MAGUIRE 6-11-07 Owner-Alan Peterson; Trainer-Philip Hobbs; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-20/1
2ND-Tidal Bay 6-11-07 Owner-Andrea & Graham Wylie; Trainer-Howard Johnson; Jockey-Paddy Brennan; SP-10/1
3RD-Catch Me 6-11-07 Owner-J P O’Shea; Trainer-Edward O’Grady IRE; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-7/1
15 ran, Time-5m 5.40s; Dist: nk, 1½; 5/2 Fav Aran Concerto (5th)

2006-WINNER-NICANOR 5-11-07 Owner-Des Sharkey; Trainer-Noel Meade IRE; Jockey-Paul Carberry; SP-17/2
2ND-Denman 6-11-07 Owner-Paul Barber & Maggie Findlay; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-11/10 Fav
3RD-Refinement 7-11-00 Owner-Michael Tabor; Trainer-Jonjo O’Neill; Jockey-Tony McCoy; SP-11/2
17 ran, Time-5m 1.00s Dist: 2½, 6

2005-WINNER-NO REFUGE 5-11-07 Owner-Andrea & Graham Wylie; Trainer-Howard Johnson; Jockey-Graham Lee; SP-17/2
2ND-Racing Demon 5-11-07 Owner-Camilla Radford; Trainer-Henrietta Knight; Jockey-Jim Culloty; SP-14/1
3RD-Our Ben 6-11-07 Owner-Trevor Hemmings; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-33/1
20 ran, Time-5m 00.00s Dist: ¾, 2½ 9/2 Jt Favs Gold Medalist (5th) & Royal Paradise (7th)

2004-WINNER-FUNDAMENTALIST 6-11-07 Owner-Gripen; Trainer-Nigel Twiston-Davies; Jockey-Carl Llewellyn; SP-12/1
2ND-Inglis Drever 5-11-07 Owner-Andrea & Graham Wylie; Trainer-Howard Johnson; Jockey-Graham Lee; SP-7/4 Fav
3RD-Grey Report 7-11-07 Owner-Anne La Trobe; Trainer-Philip Hobbs; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-25/1
15 ran, Time-5m 1.90s, Dist-.5, 4

2003-WINNER-HARDY EUSTACE 5-11-07 Owner-Laurence Byrne; Trainer-Dessie Hughes IRE; Jockey-Kieran Kelly; SP-6/1
2ND-Pizarro 6-11-07 Owner-Edward Wallace; Trainer-Edward O’Grady IRE; Jockey-Norman Williamson; SP-2/1 Fav
3RD-Lord Sam 7-11-07 Owner-Plain Peeps; Trainer-Victor Dartnall; Jockey-Warren Marston; SP-10/1
Coolnagorna, finished 2nd, placed last for causing interference 19 ran, Time-5m 5.70s, Dist (as they passed the post)-1¼, 1

2002-WINNER-GALILEO 6-11-07 Owner-Sharon Nelson, Allan Stennett, Terry Warner; Trainer-Tom George; Jockey-Jason Maguire; SP-12/1
2ND-Over The Bar 6-11-07 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Edward O’Grady IRE; Jockey-Norman Williamson; SP-14/1
3RD-Lanzerac 5-11-07 Owner-Cleartherm Ltd; Trainer-John Harris; Jockey-Paul Flynn; SP-66/1
27 ran; Time-5m 19.70s, Dist-3½, sh; 5/1 Fav Classified (4th)

2001-Cancelled (Foot and Mouth Disease)

2000-WINNER-MONSIGNOR 6-11-07 Owner-Malcolm Denmark; Trainer-Mark Pitman; Jockey-Norman Williamson; SP-5/4 Fav
2ND-No Discount 6-11-06 Owner-Seamus Ross; Trainer-Charlie Swan IRE; Jockey-Charlie Swan; SP-20/1
3RD-Gentle Rivage 6-11-07 Owner-Geoffrey and Donna Keeys; Trainer-Nigel Twiston-Davies; SP-50/1
14 ran, Time-4m 52.0s, Dist-8,5

1999-WINNER-BARTON 6-11-07 Owner-Stan Clarke; Trainer-Tim Easterby; Jockey-Lorcan Wyer, SP-2/1 Fav
2ND-Artadoin Lad 6-11-07 Owner-Jim Shaw; Trainer-Jenny Pitman; Jockey-Mick Fitzgerald; SP-28/1
3RD-Winston Run 7-11-07 Owner-Mr & Mrs John Poynton; Trainer-Ian Williams; Jockey-Glenn Tormey; SP-100/1
18 ran, Time-5m 5.6s, Dist-9, ½

1998-WINNER-FRENCH HOLLY 7-11-07 Owner-Kieran Flood; Trainer-Ferdy Murphy; Jockey-Andrew Thornton; SP-2/1 Fav
2ND-Torboy 8-11-07 Owner-Paul Green; Trainer-Martin Pipe; Jockey-Tony McCoy; SP-8/1
3RD-Cloone Bridge 6-11-07 Owner-Kathleen Gillane; Trainer-Aidan O’Brien IRE; Jockey-Charlie Swan; SP-8/1
18 ran, Time-4m 59.7s, Dist-14, 2½

1997-WINNER-ISTABRAQ 5-11-07 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Aidan O’Brien IRE; Jockey-Charlie Swan; SP-6/5 Fav
2ND-Mighty Moss 6-11-07 Owner-Ken Hutsby; Trainer-David Nicholson; Jockey-Mr Fred Hutsby; SP-11/1
3RD-Daraydan 5-11-07 Owner-David Johnson; Trainer-Martin Pipe; Jockey-Richard Hughes; SP-16/1
17 ran, Time-4m 58.2s, Dist-1, ¾

 

NEPTUNE INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT NOVICES’ HURDLE ROLL OF HONOUR
(Ballymore Properties Novices’ Hurdle 2007-9, Royal & SunAlliance Novices’ Hurdle 1998-2006, Royal Sun Alliance Novices’ Hurdle 1997, Sun Alliance Novices’ Hurdle 1974-96, Aldsworth Hurdle 1971-73)

Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran

2010 Peddlers Cross 5-11-07 Jason Maguire Donald McCain Tim Leslie 7/1 17
2009 Mikael D’Haguenet 5-11-07 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins IRE Susannah Ricci 5/2F 14
2008 Fiveforthree 6-11-07 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins IRE Olde Crowbars Syndicate 7/1 15
2007 Massini’s Maguire 6-11-07 Richard Johnson Philip Hobbs Alan Peterson 20/1 15
2006 Nicanor 5-11-07 Paul Carberry Noel Meade IRE Des Sharkey 17/2 17
2005 No Refuge 5-11-07 Graham Lee Howard Johnson Andrea & Graham Wylie 17/2 20
2004 Fundamentalist 6-11-07 Carl Llewellyn Nigel Twiston-Davies Gripen 12/1 15
2003 Hardy Eustace 6-11-07 Kieran Kelly Dessie Hughes IRE Laurence Byrne 6/1 19
2002 Galileo 6-11-07 Jason Maguire Tom George Sharon Nelson, Allan Stennett, Terry Warner 12/1 27
2001 No Race (Foot and Mouth)
2000 Monsignor 6-11-07 Norman Williamson Mark Pitman Malcolm Denmark 5/4F 14
1999 Barton 6-11-07 Lorcan Wyer Tim Easterby Stan Clarke 2/1F 18
1998 French Holly 7-11-07 Andrew Thornton Ferdy Murphy Kieran Flood 2/1F 18
1997 Istabraq 5-11-07 Charlie Swan Aidan O’Brien IRE J P McManus 6/5F 17
1996 Urubande 6-11-07 Charlie Swan Aidan O’Brien IRE Martin St Quinton 8/1 24
1995 Putty Road 5-11-07 Norman Williamson David Nicholson Lady Harris 7/1 21
1994 Danoli 6-11-07 Charlie Swan Tom Foley IRE Dan O’Neill 7/4F 23
1993 Gaelstrom 6-11-02 Carl Llewellyn Nigel Twiston-Davies Jenny Powell 16/1 19
1992 Thetford Forest 5-11-07 Richard Dunwoody David Nicholson Saeed Manana 7/1 27
1991 Crystal Spirit 4-10-12 Jimmy Frost Ian Balding Paul Mellon 2/1F 29
1990 Regal Ambition 6-11-07 Peter Scudamore Martin Pipe Skeltools Ltd 3/1F 22
1989 Sayfar’s Lad 5-11-07 Mark Perrett Martin Pipe Arthur Whiting 12/1 22
1988 Rebel Song 6-11-07 Simon Sherwood Oliver Sherwood Maggie Heath 14/1 25
1987 The West Awake 6-11-07 Simon Sherwood Oliver Sherwood Maggie Heath 16/1 28
1986 Ten Plus 6-11-07 Kevin Mooney Fulke Walwyn Basil Thwaites 5/2F 28
1985 Asir 5-11-07 Mr Ronnie Beggan Paul Kelleway HH Prince Yazid Saud 9/1 27
1984 Fealty 4-10-12 Seamus O’Neill Peter Brookshaw Peter Brookshaw 33/1 29
1983 Sabin Du Loir 4-10-08 Graham Bradley Michael Dickinson Brian Kilpatrick 16/1 27
1982 Mister Donovan 6-11-08 Tommy Ryan Edward O’Grady IRE J P McManus 9/2 21
1981 Gaye Chance 6-11-08 Sam Morshead Fred Rimell Mrs M Curtis 7/1 21
1980 Drumlargan 6-11-08 Tommy Ryan Edward O’Grady IRE Mary Cuddy 5/2F 27
1979 Venture To Cognac 6-11-08 Mr Oliver Sherwood Fred Winter Nat Sherwood 4/1 29
1978 Mr Kildare 5-11-07 Tommy Carmody Liam Browne IRE Owen Canty 8/11F 20
1977 Counsel Cottage 6-11-08 Sean Treacy Paddy Mullins IRE Lady Elizabeth Byng 6/1 26
1976 Parkhill 5-11-07 Dessie Hughes Mick O’Toole IRE Mrs J McGowan 4/1 21
1975 Davy Lad 5-11-07 Dessie Hughes Mick O’Toole IRE Mrs J McGowan 5/2F 20
1974 Brown Lad 8-11-08 Ron Barry Paddy Osborne IRE J Osborne 2/1F 25
1973 Willie Wumpkins 5-11-06 Pat Colville Adrian Maxwell IRE Jane Pilkington 11/1 15
1972 Even Dawn 5-11-06 Ron Hyett Katie Gaze Katie Gaze 40/1 17
1971 Midsprite 5-11-12 Macer Gifford Tom Jones Mrs Ogden Phipps 7/1 20

 

NEPTUNE INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT NOVICES’ HURDLE FACTS AND FIGURES

1. The Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle was introduced to The Festival in 1971 as the Aldsworth Hurdle. Sun Alliance, who merged with Royal Insurance in 1996, took it on in 1974, together with the Sun Alliance Chase, having previously sponsored the Foxhunter Chase. Ballymore Properties sponsored the contest between 2007 and 2009, while Neptune Investment Management backed the race for the first time in 2010.

2. The Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle, along with the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle and the RSA Chase, are acknowledged as championship races for the staying novice hurdler and chaser.

3. Only one horse has won both the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle and the RSA Chase. The West Awake took the hurdle race in 1987 and the chase event a year later.

4. The smallest field for the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle was 14 in both 2009 and 2000. There have been 15 runners on four occasions - 1973, 2004, 2007 and 2008. The largest field was 29, achieved in 1979, 1984 and 1991. The current safety limit is 24.

5. The Irish-trained 1994 winner, Danoli, was the subject of a massive gamble and was sent off the 7/4 favourite. The shortest-priced winner was another Irish victor, Mr Kildare, at 8/11 in 1978. Favourites have been successful in 13 of the 38 runnings. The longest-priced winner was 40/1 chance Even Dawn in the second running in 1972.

6. The Irish have an excellent record in the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle with 15 wins, including six consecutive victories from 1973-78.

7. Having sent out the winner in 2008 and 2009, Willie Mullins became the seventh trainer to win two Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdles, joining Aidan O’Brien, Martin Pipe, Oliver Sherwood, Mick O'Toole, Edward O'Grady and Nigel Twiston-Davies. Oliver Sherwood and Dessie Hughes are the two trainers to have also won the race as jockeys. Sherwood was in the saddle on Venture To Cognac in 1979, while his training wins were with The West Awake (1987) and Rebel Song (1988). Dessie Hughes was twice successful as a jockey with Davy Lad (1975) and Parkhill (1976) and sent out Hardy Eustace (2003) to victory as a trainer.

8. The fastest time for the winning horse was 4m 52.0s set by Monsignor in 2000, beating the 4m 56.2s of Regal Ambition in 1990.

9. Istabraq (1997) and Hardy Eustace (2003) both won this race en route to victory in the Stan James Champion Hurdle, while Davy Lad (1975) went on to take the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup.

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