14:05 Cheltenham: Taquin De Seuil to upset the Irish in Neptune
It would be no surprise if Pont Alexandre was sent off virtually odds-on for the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle given the weight of Irish money that will potentially be behind it, but Taquin De Seuil can upset favourite backers with victory.
Pont Alexandre is currently available at 5/4 and has won both his hurdles starts in Ireland this year without truly breaking sweat.
However, he has not exuded outright class in these victories and the form looks more solid than top drawer.
Boston Bob was also a heavily backed Irish novice hurdler at Cheltenham last year and lost, so there are reasons to be cautious, especially given the depth of opposition he will face.
Eight of the 10 entrants have not been out of the first two in their last six starts and leading jockey Tony McCoy has earmarked Taquin De Seuil as one of his best bets of the entire Festival at 5/1.
In four starts, My Tent Or Yours is the only horse to have beaten him and Taquin De Seuil has a high knee action, which suggests the ground should be perfect.
The almighty statistic that Taquin De Seuil has to overcome is that all of the 13 horses to head here after winning the Challow Hurdle have failed to triumph.
Historically, the Neptune has not been a race to chase an upset winner, but it is hard not to believe that Chatterbox is a massive price at 10/1 for at least a place.
It is not often a horse trained by Nicky Henderson and ridden by Barry Geraghty is such a price, particularly one that is unbeaten in three starts and holds a victory over My Tent Or Yours on his resume this season.
The one doubt to his chances is whether he stays, as a change of pace looks his big positive and he is yet to run over a trip longer than 2m1f.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.