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Cheltenham Festival Options Open For Unbeaten Fingal Bay

Friday 2nd December 2011

We may still be a few weeks from Christmas but in the exciting Fingal Bay we could have found a real star novice hurdler for the season. Phillip Hobbs has been unusually bullish about the potential of Fingal Bay so far this season and three consecutive wins have done nothing to dampen those expectations. In fact so far he has won all four of his starts and punters are now left guessing as to which Cheltenham race he will be aimed at. His most impressive win to date came last time out at Sandown when he won the Neptune Investment Novices Hurdle as he went to battle with Simonsig. In the end Fingal Bay had too much for what looked like an excellent opponent in Simonsig as the pair pulled well clear of a decent field in the 2m 4f race.

The race at Sandown looked to be a top quality renewal which was a big test for Fingal Bay so early in the season and connections will now need to decide which route they take on the way to Cheltenham. His three wins so far this season have all been won around the 2m 4f mark and with that in mind he is clear favourite in the Neptune Investment Hurdle Odds which is the Festival race run at that distance. There are however thoughts that Fingal Bay is an out and out stayer and will be better over three miles as he progresses through the season, which brings the Albert Bartlett into play. Trainer Phillip Hobbs has said he is 50/50 at the moment between the two Cheltenham races with the ground likely to play a big part in the decision in the build up to the Festival. Either way Fingal Bay looks like a top quality novice hurdler for this season and if we look even further into the future he could well be a Gold Cup star over fences.

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