Nicky Henderson boasts awful record in Neptune Novices’ Hurdle

Cheltenham Trials Day was all supposed to be about Backspin, but after a disappointing performance, it’s all change in the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle betting.

Backspin entered the novice hurdle unbeaten in his three starts over fences, but a laboured performance under champion jockey AP McCoy has seen the Jonjo O’Neill-trained six-year-old drift out in the Cheltenham Festival betting.

Backspin is now a 12/1 chance after opening in the betting market at 6/1, and it’s his two rivals from Cheltenham on Saturday that now head the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle betting market.

Bobs Worth was a 16/1 chance for the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle entering last Saturday’s race at Cheltenham, but a 2¼ length victory over Rock On Ruby has seen the Nicky Henderson-trained star slashed into the 5/1 joint favourite.

Rock On Ruby joins Bobs Worth on 5/1 at the head of the market at 5/1, and considering Nicky Henderson’s record in the Cheltenham race, maybe the Paul Nicholls-trained Rock On Ruby should be outright favourite.

Henderson hasn’t had a winner in this race in the last 21 runnings, and with just two top-ten places to his name in that time, Henderson’s form in this race is awful.

It was a powerful performance from Bobs Worth to hold off a resurgent Rock On Ruby at the last hurdle at Cheltenham, but considering his trainer’s record in the race, the 5/1 seems a little short.

Connections of Backspin were disappointed to say the least and Frank Berry, racing manager to JP McManus, said: “”I think he’ll still go to the Festival but he’d have to improve on that for us to be going there with any confidence.”

Rock On Ruby is likely to garner all the confidence on the day, but punters can find some value by exploring the ante post Neptune Novices’ Hurdle betting market.

A £25 stake on Zaidpour winning the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle would return £275. New customers can sign up here for a free bet worth £25.


Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the team.