Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle
(Registered As The Classic Novices' Hurdle)
Grade 2, Cheltenham 15:25
£30,000 added, 4yo plus,
2m 4f 110y, Class 1  
Saturday 28th January 2017

1 Wholestone 11/4F
2 William Henry 5/1
3 Poetic Rhythm 16/1
10 ran Distances: 3l, 5l, 2¾l
TIME 5m 4.10s (slow by 17.10s)

Wholestone out of this world in Neptune trial

Wholestone
© Racehorse Photos
Wholestone

Nigel Twiston-Davies' Wholestone was dropping back in trip after winning an Albert Bartlett trial at Cheltenham in December, but Daryl Jacob made good use of his stamina and he fought off all challengers off the front end.

The last hurdle was dolled off due to low winter sun, but Jacob was still holding onto his mount at that point, the pair having built up a useful lead.

William Henry came out of the pack to challenge, as did Poetic Rhythm who was always just off the lead, but Wholestone had all moves covered and he was driven out for a comfortable success.

Twiston-Davies said: "It was a very good performance, he's done nothing wrong all season and keeps getting better.

"We were going to go for the River Don at Doncaster over three miles, but luckily we came here as we were hoping for the softer ground.

"He is versatile regarding the trip and will be in the Neptune and Albert Bartlett, but the likelihood is the Albert Bartlett.

"It's possible he could have another run, we'll have to see. He's a good galloper and the rain helped.

"He schools well and, while his hurdling doesn't look clean, he doesn't lose any lengths. He is a very good jumper - it just doesn't look pretty! If he was slow over hurdles, it would be a disaster but he is not."

Jacob added: "Wholestone has been an improving horse all year.

"I was a little bit worried about coming back to two and a half miles today but fair play to Simon, Isaac, Nigel and Anthony (Bromley - racing manager). They knew the rain was coming and it was a good test for him out there today.

"He just seems to keep improving and improving. He is just a lovely horse - he doesn't do anything flash, he doesn't do anything quick but he is a typical Nigel horse. They are very, very hardy type of horses.

"I think the Albert Bartlett at The Festival could be the race for him if we get good ground. I am not going to tell my bosses what to do - they have mastered this horse from the start of the year and all credit to them."

Sky Bet reacted by cutting Wholestone to 8s from 16s for the Albert Bartlett, and to 16s from 25s for the Neptune.

Spokesman Michael Shinners said: "Nigel Twiston-Davies is hinting Albert Bartlett and that's the way our traders see it too, cutting him to 8s from 16s for the longer race.

"He's got speed for a stayer, though, as we saw today, so he's a definite player if he does end up going for the Albert Bartlett."

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Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle
(Registered As The Classic Novices' Hurdle) (Grade 2)
£30,000 added, 4yo plus, 2m 4f 56y, Class 1
10 ran
Going: Soft, Good to Soft in places

Pos Dist Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Wholestone (IRE) 11/4f D A Jacob
11-10
N A Twiston-Davies 6
2nd 3 William Henry (IRE) 5/1 D N Russell
11-7
N J Henderson 7
3rd 5 Poetic Rhythm (IRE) 16/1 P J Brennan
11-3
F O'Brien 6
4th Topofthegame (IRE) 11/2 N D Fehily
11-10
P F Nicholls 5
5th 15 Elegant Escape (IRE) 12/1 T Scudamore
11-10
C L Tizzard 5
6th 8 Coo Star Sivola (FR) 8/1 Lizzie Kelly
11-10
Nick Williams 5
7th Mr Mcgo (IRE) 16/1 W T Kennedy
11-7
D McCain Jnr 6
8th 46 Sneaky Feeling (IRE) 12/1 R Johnson
11-7
P J Hobbs 5
9th s.h Keep In Line (GER) 14/1 Wayne Hutchinson
11-7
A King 5
PU Kimberlite Candy (IRE) 7/1 B J Geraghty
11-10
Tom Lacey 5

Betway Horse Racing €50 free best odds guaranteed

Year Horse Owner Trainer Weight Jockey SP

2000 Monsignor Malcolm Denmark Mark Pitman 6-11-12 Norman Williamson 1/2 f
2001 Indian Scout Indian Scout Partnership Ben De Haan 6-11-06 Liam Cummins 2/1
2002 Keen Leader Adair Catherwood Jonjo O’Neill 6-11-05 Liam Cooper 10/11 f
2003 Iris’s Gift Robert Lester Jonjo O’Neill 6-11-09 Barry Geraghty 1/3 f
2004 Abandoned
2005 Ambobo Sean Mulryan Arnaud Chaille-Chaille FR 5-11-12 Barry Geraghty 14/1
2006 Abandoned
2007 Wichita Lineman J P McManus Jonjo O’Neill 6-11-12 Tony McCoy Evens f
2008 Aigle D’Or J P McManus Nicky Henderson 5-11-09 Marcus Foley 7/4 f
2009 Diamond Harry Paul Duffy/Diamond Partnership Nick Williams 6-11-12 Timmy Murphy 8/15 f
2010 Restless Harry Richard Whitehead Robin Dickin 6-11-12 Henry Oliver 7/2
2011 Bobs Worth The Not Afraid Partnership Nicky Henderson 6-11-12 Barry Geraghty 7/2
2012 Batonnier Raymond Mould Alan King 6-11-05 Wayne Hutchinson 12/1
2013 At Fishers Cross J P McManus Rebecca Curtis 6-11-12 A P McCoy 13/2
2014 Red Sherlock The Johnson Family David Pipe 5-11-09 Tom Scudamore 9/4
2015 Ordo Ab Chao A Marsh Alan King 6-11-09 Wayne Hutchinson 16/1
2016 Yanworth J P McManus Alan King 6-11-12 Barry Geraghty 2/1f