It is hard to look past the Grade One form of Oscars Well this season and this makes him potentially the best bet at 11/4 to win the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle.
Oscars Well arrives at Cheltenham on a three-race winning streak having taken a liking to the soft ground that has been common in Ireland in recent months.
Meanwhile, two of these victories were secured in Grade One company, with the latter arriving in the Deloitte Hurdle at Leopardstown last month, when travelling strongly throughout before taking the initiative from the final hurdle.
The race has been a great stepping stone for the Festival as a whole in recent years as it has produced seven winners since 1994.
Other statistics that point in the direction of Oscars Well is that half of the last eight winners have been Irish, while the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle has proved a contest that suits the market leaders in the past.
Some 23 of the last 25 winners have materialised from the first six in the betting.
The other leading Irish challenger So Young is the other joint favourite in the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle betting at 11/4.
Connections are unsure quite how good the horse is based on the ease in which he has won his two starts over hurdles, although his inexperience is a slight cause for concern when considered alongside the likes of Rock On Ruby and First Lieutenant.
Furthermore, previous winners have tended to have a Graded victory to their name ahead of the visit to Cheltenham.
With both favourites seemingly showing their best form on softer ground a faster surface could enhance the prospects of Tornado Bob.
Trainer Donald McCain has indicated the horse may improve for better ground and he looks the liveliest of the outsiders at 10/1.
A £20 stake on Tornado Bob winning the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle would return £200. New customers can sign up here for a free £60 bet.