Peddlers Cross On a Different Planet
1 Peddlers Cross 7/1
Peddlers Cross looks a horse with a massive future after a comprehensive length and a half victory over Reve De Sivola in the Grade One Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle.
The five-year-old was purchased for £100,000 at the Brightwells April Sale held at Cheltenham racecourse last year after winning a point-to-point in Ireland and is now unbeaten in four starts under rules.
Winning trainer Donald McCain sai: “We talked and talked and talked about what we were going to do with this horse and a massive amount of work has gone into his preparation.
“He is a machine. When he did his final piece of work at Bangor, it was so good it scared me and when Jason (Maguire, jockey) told me he was the best horse he had ridden after the first hurdle win - I had to ring him back to make sure I had heard right!
“Today was the first time he has come off the bridle and he ran with the choke out for the first mile. He is a real enthusiast and has loads of speed. Jason is our stable jockey and I could tell from his body language how well we were going.
“I would have to say he is the best horse I have trained. Whiteoak was quick, but this horse has speed to burn. I saw his point-to-point win in Ireland and liked it, and then when I actually saw him I liked him even more. I also like his sire (Oscar).
“Tim (Leslie, owner) has been great to us and has put a lot of investment into the game. He is a great man and just lets us get on with it. We had thought of maybe going chasing with him next season but Jason said why go chasing when he has so much speed?
“We thought that two and a half miles around Aintree would be ideal for him but we will get him home and see how he is. We don’t have to do anything now and he is going to be a better horse next year. We are in no hurry.”
Jason Maguire added: “He put his head out and galloped - that’s the sign of a real horse. I was confident all the way round. I was briefly concerned before the second last but then he has picked up again.
“It’s just brilliant for the whole team. He looks like he will be an Arkle and maybe a Gold Cup horse one day.
“We walked the course this morning and fair play to Donald with his decision to go for the two miles and five furlongs. We thought that the horse showed plenty of gears over two miles on soft ground. People were saying that this would be too far for him but he is a tool.
“The horse running out made no difference. In hindsight, if I had have been beaten, I would have probably said that I had waited a bit long because I was happy for Daryl to go on and give me a lead turning in. He is just some horse.
“We said that we would ride him as if he stays the trip - if he didn’t stay than we didn’t want to blame the way we rode him - so we rode him normally. He just travels so well and once he straightened up, he quickened up well, winged the last and stayed on well.”
NOT QUITE THE DREAM FOR SIVOLA
A cracking finish to the Neptune Investment Management saw Reve de Sivola just out-gunned by the strong-staying Peddlers Cross, with the favourite Rite Of Passage in third place. The Nick Williams-trained Reve de Sivola, a 15/2 shot, finished one and a half lengths behind the winner.
The horse is owned by the Paul Duffy Diamond partnership and with trainer Nick Williams saddling Diamond Harry, the partnership’s horse in the next race, Duffy fielded questions on Reve de Sivola’s performance.
“We thought he was going to win. At the top of the hill and coming down, he was travelling so easily that he looked like the winner. But Peddlers Cross is a very good horse so we must be pleased with the run.
“I don’t think the quicker going made any difference, the horse has got pace, he’s got real quality, so it wouldn’t have inconvenienced him.
“He’s a chaser in the making and we’re very pleased. We won’t go to Aintree, that would come too quickly, but we might now take him Punchestown.
“Hopefully this will be the first part of a double, as we’ve got Diamond Harry in the next race,” said Duffy.
PASSAGE COULD HEAD TO AUSTRALIA AFTER FINE THIRD
Rite Of Passage, 7-2 favourite for the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle, had to settle for third, but trainer Dermot Weld was not disappointed.
Last year Rite Of Passage was third in the Champion Bumper, and subsequently won twice on the Flat - a return to that sphere and a possible tilt at the Melbourne Cup is now on the six-year-old’s agenda.
Weld said: “We’re very pleased because the horse has run well on only his third start over hurdles. You always love to win but the horse has run well and Robbie [amateur rider Robbie McNamara] has given him a good ride.
“I’ve no excuses on account of the ground - it’s perfect. My one worry was inexperience, and he lost a good position at a vital stage and had to use up a little energy to get back into contention. He wasn’t good enough on the day but the first two are high-class.
“He’s more likely to go for a Flat campaign now - it was a bonus to bring him here - he’s a dual-purpose horse and we’ll have to consider taking him down under [for Australia’s Melbourne Cup which Weld has won twice with Vintage Crop and Media Puzzle]. The way he won the Leopardstown November Handicap a galloping track will suit him well.”
Previous results - NEPTUNE INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT NOVICES’ HURDLE
2008-WINNER-FIVEFORTHREE 6-11-07 Owner-Olde Crowbars Syndicate; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-7/1
2007-WINNER-MASSINI’S MAGUIRE 6-11-07 Owner-Alan
Peterson; Trainer-Philip Hobbs; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-20/1
2006-WINNER-NICANOR 5-11-07 Owner-Des Sharkey; Trainer-Noel Meade IRE;
Jockey-Paul Carberry; SP-17/2
REFUGE 5-11-07 Owner-Andrea & Graham
Wylie; Trainer-Howard Johnson; Jockey-Graham Lee; SP-17/2
2004-WINNER-FUNDAMENTALIST 6-11-07 Owner-Gripen; Trainer-Nigel Twiston-Davies;
Jockey-Carl Llewellyn; SP-12/1
2003-WINNER-HARDY EUSTACE 5-11-07 Owner-Laurence Byrne; Trainer-Dessie
Hughes IRE; Jockey-Kieran Kelly; SP-6/1
2002-WINNER-GALILEO 6-11-07 Owner-Sharon Nelson, Allan Stennett, Terry
Warner; Trainer-Tom George; Jockey-Jason Maguire; SP-12/1
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
1999-WINNER-BARTON 6-11-07 Owner-Stan Clarke; Trainer-Tim Easterby;
Jockey-Lorcan Wyer, SP-2/1 Fav
1998-WINNER-FRENCH HOLLY 7-11-07 Owner-Kieran Flood; Trainer-Ferdy Murphy;
Jockey-Andrew Thornton; SP-2/1 Fav
1997-WINNER-ISTABRAQ 5-11-07 Owner-J P McManus;
IRE; Jockey-Charlie Swan; SP-6/5 Fav
NEPTUNE INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT NOVICES’ HURDLE ROLL OF HONOUR
Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran
2009 Mikael D’Haguenet
NEPTUNE INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT NOVICES’ HURDLE FACTS AND FIGURES
1. The Ballymore Properties 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 for the first time in 2007.
2. The Ballymore Properties 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 Ballymore Properties 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 Ballymore Properties Novices' Hurdle was 14 in 2000, when there were three non-runners. Previously the lowest number of runners was 15 in 1973, the year of Willie Wumpkins, who later dominated the Coral Golden Hurdle Final at The Festival with three straight wins from 1979-81. There were also 15 runners in 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 12 of the 36 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 Ballymore Properties Novices’ Hurdle with 14 wins, including six consecutive victories from 1973-78.
7. Aidan O’Brien, Martin Pipe, Oliver Sherwood, Mick O'Toole, Edward O'Grady and Nigel Twiston-Davies have each won two Ballymore Properties Novices’ Hurdles. 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 Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle while Davy Lad (1975) went on to take the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup.
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