Unbeaten novice hurdler, Fingal Bay, is a major doubt for the Cheltenham Festival after suffering a setback at home. The Philip Hobbs star has carried all before him so far this winter but after injuring his near hind hamstring he is not certain to recover in time for the Festival which is now under three weeks away. The horse had been favourite for the Neptune Novice Hurdler at the Festival but his price has been on the drift during the last 24 hours with the layers out to get the horse. The market for the race has now been shaken up with Boston Bob and Simonsig now fighting for favouritism in one of the most open and fascinating markets of the meeting. Plenty of ante-post Fingal Bay punters will be clutching their betting slips with worry over the next week or two as we wait to hear about the potential participation at Cheltenham of one of the stars of the season.
The Neptune Investment Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham is already shaping up to be one of the highlights of the Festival with a number of potential future stars in the current show of betting. Fingal Bay will run in the race if fit while the connections of Boston Bob and Simonsig are still to decide which race is best for their horses. If Fingal Bay is taken out of the race then it is likely that Nicky Henderson and the Simonsig connections will look more favourably towards the Neptune while the same can be said of Willie Mullins and Boston Bob. At the moment Boston Bob is also featuring towards the top of the Albert Bartlett betting over three miles, while Simonsig is also engaged in the Supreme Novices Hurdle at the Festiva; as well as the Neptune. The fitness of Fingal Bay will have a massive impact on the novice hurdle races at the Cheltenham Festival this season and punters and connections will be keeping a close eye on the news over the next week or so.