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Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle
Grade 1, Cheltenham 13:30
£120,000 added, 4yo plus,
2m 5f, Class 1  
Wednesday 11th March 2015

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1 Windsor Park 9/2
2 Parlour Games 13/2
3 Nichols Canyon 7/2F
10 ran Distances: 3¾l, 1¼l, nk
TIME 5m 7.40s (slow by 10.40s)

Windsor Park lands the Neptune Novices Hurdle for Ireland

Windsor Park
© Caroline Norris
Windsor Park

The Dermot Weld-trained Windsor Park continued a clean sweep for Irish trainers in The Festival's Grade One races so far when capturing the opening Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle.

"He's a very versatile horse. He raced five times last year and won five times. He has done everything right and he's a joy to train. He could be entered for a Gold Cup (at Ascot) and we will review it - today was the day though. We probably first thought of this a year ago" said Weld.

"I've only got six jumpers now and they are all dual-purpose like him.

"I thought that he would be hard to beat. He's a good ground horse and the drying weather suited him well. He had run very well on his last two starts on very testing ground. This was lovely ground for him today and he did everything right. He ran a lovely prep for this at Leopardstown when coming home very well.

"It's a unique atmosphere, a unique occasion and I am very fortunate to win here. He's a very nice young horse, hopefully he has many years to come and will be a lovely dual-purpose horse.

"He's a stayer with speed and I think he'll want two miles on the Flat. We'll see where we go. Punchestown will be a logical progression although there are a couple of Flat conditions races that we could look at. He could chasing in the future, he could be a World Hurdle horse next year or he could stay on the Flat - he's pretty adaptable."

Owner Dr Ronan Lambe added: "Davy gave him an absolutely wonderful ride today. The last couple of times, we have ridden this horse from the back of the field and he didn't jump particularly well so we decided to try different tactics this time. He carried it out to perfection, he was perfect, wonderful.

"One never knows but I think the Ascot Gold Cup is shooting a bit high at this point."

Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle
(registered As The Baring Bingham Novices' Hurdle)
£120,000 added, 4yo plus, 2m 5f, Class 1
10 ran
Going: Good, Good to Soft in places

Pos Dist Horse SP Jockey /Weight Trainer Age
1st Windsor Park (IRE) 9/2 D N Russell
11-7
D K Weld 6
2nd Parlour Games 13/2 A P McCoy
11-7
J P Ferguson 7
3rd Nichols Canyon 7/2f R Walsh
11-7
W P Mullins 5
4th nk Vyta Du Roc (FR) 15/2 B J Geraghty
11-7
N J Henderson 6
5th nk Snow Falcon (IRE) 20/1 P Carberry
11-7
N Meade 5
6th ½ Outlander (IRE) 4/1 B J Cooper
11-7
W P Mullins 7
7th Ordo Ab Chao (IRE) 10/1 W Hutchinson
11-7
A King 6
8th 38 Warrantor (IRE) 33/1 G Sheehan
11-7
W Greatrex 6
9th nk Beast Of Burden (IRE) 8/1 P Townend
11-7
Miss R Curtis 6
10th 33 Anteros (IRE) 100/1 Paul Moloney
11-7
Mrs S Leech 7

Games gets McCoy closer

A P McCoy is inching his way towards a first Cheltenham Festival winner before retirement, and, after a blank first day, he started day two with a good second in the opening event.

Parlour Games
© Racehorse Photos
Parlour Games

McCoy rode the John Ferguson-trained Parlour Games, who chased the winner Windsor Park over the final hurdle, but could not claw back the leader's advantage, going down by three and three quarter lengths. The Willie Mullins-trained, Ruby Walsh-ridden, Nichols Canyon was third, a length and a quarter further behind.

Ferguson said: "I'm delighted with him, because we've been beaten by a top horse, and we've franked the form from the Challow Hurdle [run at Newbury in late December] with Nicky Henderson's horse [Vyta Du Roc, who was fourth].

"I haven't thought about running him back on the Flat - I haven't got a Flat licence and he's been on the go since May. He could run at Aintree next month. We've had three winners at Cheltenham this season, and while it would be nice to have one at The Festival, we've only just started and we'll get there one day."

Vyta Du Roc made a bad blunder at the final flight which jockey Barry Geraghty did well to sit. Henderson said: "We might have been second, but he's still run a fine race - and he did well to stand up. We wouldn't have beaten the winner."

Walk in the Park

Windsor Park oozed class as he ran out the impressive three and three quarter length winner .

The 9/2 shot was always travelling powerfully under jockey Davy Russell and was still on the bridle as he took up the running turning for home.

Russell asked him to quicken before the last and a solid jump at the final flight sealed victory as he stormed up the hill to land the Grade One prize for owner Dr Ronan Lambe and trainer Dermot Weld.

"It was great," said Russell, partnering his 14th Festival winner.

"Mr Weld is brilliant to ride for, as is Dr Lambe. Throughout the year I've been dropping him in and learning him his job. He was staying on well because of that and I thought today was the day to let him rock and roll.

"I took criticism earlier in the year for the way I was riding him but for me, it's all about the horse, it's all about here and if he was lacking any experience, it was here that it would count as he would need all the experience he could get. For sure, there are lot of Grade Ones throughout the year but this is where it counts.

"He's got a huge stride and sometimes he gets a bit flustered if there are horses around him so I was happy to let him stride off in front and let him see the hurdles and he's jumped super. Stamina was never an issue and we'd even considered running him in the three miler (the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle on Friday) but I wouldn't have been able to use those tactics in that race.

"He's a versatile horse when it comes to ground so we weren't worried about whether it rained or dried out. It's hard to know what sort of horse he'll end up being. Size-wise, you'd say he'd make a lovely chaser but he's not really bred for that job and Mr Weld will have loads of other ideas - whatever he'll decide will be the right thing.

"Every winner is special here, whether it's a handicapper, a top race or the charity race. It's a phenomenal place and it's here you want it."

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Previous results - NEPTUNE INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT NOVICES’ HURDLE

2014-WINNER-FAUGHEEN 6-11-07 Owner-Susannah Ricci; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-6/4 Fav
2ND-Ballyalton 7-11-07 Owner-John Westwood; Trainer-Ian Williams; Jockey-Will Kennedy; SP-20/1
3RD-Rathvinden 6-11-07 Owner-Ronnie Bartlett; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Paul Townend; SP-11/2
15 ran, Time-4m 54.80s; Dist-4½, ½

2013-WINNER-THE NEW ONE 6-11-07 Owner-Sarah Such; Trainer-Nigel Twiston-Davies; Jockey-Sam Twiston-Davies; SP-7/2
2ND-Rule The World 5-11-07 Owner-Gigginstown House Stud; Trainer-Mouse Morris IRE; Jockey-Davy Russell; SP-5/1
3RD-Pont Alexandre 5-11-07 Owner-Susannah Ricci; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-6/4 Fav
8 ran, Time-5m 16.60s; Dist-4, 4½

2012-WINNER-SIMONSIG 6-11-07 Owner-Ronnie Bartlett; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-2/1 Fav
2ND-Felix Yonger 6-11-07 Owner-Andrea & Graham Wylie; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Paul Townend; SP-16/1
3RD-Monksland 5-11-07 Owner-Patricia Hunt; Trainer Noel Meade IRE; Jockey-Paul Carberry; SP-11/2
17 ran, Time-4m 59.34s; Dist-7, 11

2011-WINNER-FIRST LIEUTENANT 6-11-07 Owner-Gigginstown House Stud; Trainer-Mouse Morris IRE; Jockey-Davy Russell; SP- 7/1
2ND-Rock On Ruby 6-11-07 Owner-The Festival Goers; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Daryl Jacob; SP-13/2 3RD-So Young 5-11-07 Owner-Mrs M McMahon; Trainer Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-2/1 Fav
12 ran, Time-5m 10.50s; Dist-sh, 41⁄2

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

Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran

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

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