It’s a race which has seen just two winning favourites this millennium which would suggest Oscars Well would quite happily relinquish favouritism to rival So Young.
The news that Willie Mullins has confirmed So Young’s entry in the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle has seen a flurry of bets on the five-year-old, and some bookmakers have made him joint favourite.
Ladbrokes are offering 7/2 that So Young wins the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle while Oscars Well is the outright favourite at 3/1, however that favouritism could be a curse come Wednesday .
It’s a race that has been dominated by the first six in the betting in recent times – the first five home in last year’s race all came from the first six in the betting and 23 of the last 25 winners were high up in the betting – but the trends surrounding the favourite suggest looking past the first two in the betting.
Rock On Ruby (6/1), Bobs Worth (6/1), First Lieutenant (10/1) and Minella Class (10/1) fill the remaining four spaces, but considering Nicky Henderson is 0-21 in this race, Bobs Worth and Minella Class are up against it.
Irish horses have won four of the last eight renewals and 15 of the 39 runnings, and while the two at the head of the market are both Irish, preference may be for the Mouse Morris-trained First Lieutenant.
First Lieutenant represents a stable that brings over a small field full of potential for the Cheltenham Festival, and having produced the 2006 Gold Cup winner, First Lieutenant could be a huge price at 10/1.
Punters should respect the five and six year olds that won or placed second last time out when looking for the winner, and First Lieutenant meets the criteria.
A £25 stake on First Lieutenant winning the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle would return £275. New customers can sign up here for a free £25 bet.