Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle
Wed March 13th 2013

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The New One Storms Home in Neptune

1 The New One 7/2
2 Rule The World 5/1
3 Pont Alexandre 6/4 Fav
NR: Puffin Billy (IRE), Sizing Gold (IRE)
8 ran Distances: 4l, 4½l, 5l
TIME 5m 16.60s (slow by 19.60s)

The New One had Nigel Twiston-Davies dreaming of glory from the first time the gelding began to work at home. And the trainer's judgement was justified with a four-length romp to victory in the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle.

The New One
© Racehorse Photos

The New One

"He has always showed magical speed," said Twiston-Davies, "and took to jumping like a natural. His attitude to everything is almost as if he had already done it all in another life. He was winning only four months after he was broken in. He was the full package right from the start."

The New One gave Twiston-Davies fine compensation for former Betfred Gold Cup winner Imperial Commander's late defection from the meeting. "This one was always our best chance of the meeting anyway," he said, "and having Sam [his son] ride doubles the pleasure."

The New One, a five-year-old by King's Theatre, has been beaten only twice, when he was sixth in last year's Weatherbys Champion Bumper and runner-up to At Fishers Cross over today's course and distance in January. "We're still trying to work out how he got beat in the bumper," said Twiston-Davies, "but he came out and beat My Tent Or Yours next time, so we knew what we thought of him was right. It was simply the heavy ground did for him back in January.

"It's what we have been waiting for and it worked. I didn't see the race - I'm afraid that I got gut-ache and I was in the loo. I only saw the last hurdle.

"We knew which horses were right and which were wrong. We knew he was right."

Two subsequent winners of the Champion Hurdle, Istabraq and Hardy Eustace, are among the winners of the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle, and the two-mile title may be The New One's target next year. "He's got class and a turn of foot," said Twiston-Davies, saddling his 14th Festival winner "so why ever not?"




Jockey Sam Twiston-Davies posted his first Festival victory as a professional as 7/2 second-favourite The New One stormed to a four-length victory in the Neptune Investment Management Hurdle.

Twiston-Davies had ridden Baby Run to victory in the CGA Foxhunter Chase when an amateur back in 2010.

"He was very good today. He showed a very good turn of foot and I am absolutely delighted," said Twiston-Davies.

"I probably got it wrong last time out as I rode him more of a stayer than a speed horse but you've got to learn from your mistakes! He's actually quite a speedy type so I thought I'd give him that sort of ride and it's worked out.

"He really picked up coming down the hill and when I asked him to go he just took off. There's obviously been a fair bit said about our horses but when the likes of Ackertac (second yesterday at 66/1) run like they do, it gives you a bit more confidence. It also helps when Willie Mullins' horses are running so well - it takes the pressure of you a bit!

"A lot of credit goes to Wayne Jones - he looks after the horse every day, rides him out and he has got him in top form, so fair play to him.

"Riding this horse was a great chance and you have to grab it with both hands. Luckily everything worked out well today.

"He'll probably jump a fence in time but I would have thought that might be in a couple of years. He's only five so I'd imagine we'll have another season over hurdles with him - it's just a shame there's not a two-and-a-half mile championship hurdle at The Festival.

Twiston-Davies' younger brother Willy, an apprentice on the Flat, was delighted for both Sam and his father after the race.

"It's great to see Dad (Nigel) and Sam have a winner like this after what's happened over the past couple of weeks," he said.

"It's great to be here at Cheltenham but I'm not a great spectator - I probably get more nervous than both of them!"

"It's a massive boost for everyone in the yard."

The New One's owner Sarah Such said: "We knew that he was going to do that, just knew it. To all of the doubters - we did it and we have put you right. I had all the faith in Nigel.

"We couldn't get a name for him and, every time we saw him on the gallops, Nigel would say "this is the new one with no name" and it just stuck. "


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

Starting Price
Beaten Distance
The New One
N A Twiston-Davies
S Twiston-Davies
11st 7lbs
7 - 2
Rule The World
M F Morris
D N Russell
11st 7lbs
5 - 1
4 lengths
Pont Alexandre
W P Mullins
R Walsh
11st 7lbs
6 - 4
4 1/2 lengths
N J Henderson
B J Geraghty
11st 7lbs
9 - 1
5 lengths
D T Hughes
D E Mullins
11st 7lbs
33 - 1
3 1/2 lengths
Taquin Du Seuil
Jonjo O'Neill
A P McCoy
11st 7lbs
6 - 1
Short Head
G L Moore
J E Moore
11st 7lbs
100 - 1
8 lengths
Two Rockers
A King
W Hutchinson
11st 7lbs
16 - 1
5 lengths
Non Runner
Puffin Billy
O Sherwood
L Aspell
11st 7lbs
Non Runner
Sizing Gold
H de Bromhead
A E Lynch
11st 7lbs



Horses trained in Ireland made up a strong team for the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle, but they had to be content with a second and third as victory went to The New One, trained locally by Nigel Twiston-Davies.

Runner-up Rule The World carried the Gigginstown House Stud colours into second at 5/1, four lengths behind the winner, while a further four and a half lengths back in third was the 6/4 favourite Pont Alexandre, representing owner Susannah Ricci and a rare reverse for jockey Ruby Walsh and trainer Willie Mullins.

Mouse Morris, who trains Rule The World, said: "He's run a blinder, but he's been beaten by a better horse on the day. He'll be a better horse with another year on his back. You might see him at Punchestown, but we'll see how he comes out of this race first. He's a big, lean bugger and still a frame of a horse."

Mullins said: "Ruby said he wasn't travelling from a long way out. Maybe soft ground is the key, but I'm disappointed. We'll probably go to Punchestown."



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



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.

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.


The smallest field for the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle was in 2011, when 12 runners lined up. There have been 15 runners on four occasions - 1973, 2004, 2007 and 2008 while 14 went to post in 2000 and 2009. The largest field was 29, achieved in 1979, 1984 and 1991. The current safety limit is 24.


The most successful owners are Anne-Marie McGowan, Maggie Heath and J P McManus, with two wins each.


The most successful trainers are Aidan O’Brien, David Nicholson, Edward O’Grady, Martin Pipe, Mick O’Toole, Nigel Twiston-Davies, Oliver Sherwood and Willie Mullins, who have each won the race twice.


Charlie Swan won the race three times and is the most successful jockey. Among current riders, Jason Maguire and Ruby Walsh have both won the race twice.


The Irish-trained 1994 winner, Danoli, subject of a massive gamble, 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 14 of the 41 runnings (34 per cent). The longest-priced winner was 40/1 chance Even Dawn in the second running in 1972.


The oldest winner was Brown Lad, an eight-year-old when scoring in 1974. The four-year-olds Sabin de Loir (1983), Fealty (1984) and Crystal Spirit (1991) were the youngest winners. The overall breakdown by age is as follows:

4yo - 3 winners
5yo - 15 winners
6yo - 21 winners
7yo - 1 winner
8yo - 1 winner


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


The Irish have an excellent record in the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle with 16 wins, including six consecutive victories from 1973-78. The latest success came from the Mouse Morris-trained First Lieutenant in 2011.


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.

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 Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup.

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.


(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

2012 Simonsig 6-11-07 Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson Ronnie Bartlett 2/1F 17
2011 First Lieutenant 6-11-07 Davy Russell Mouse Morris IRE Gigginstown House Stud 7/1 12
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

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