The Neptune Novices Hurdle takes its place on Day 2 of the 2010 Cheltenham Festival and will feature as always some good staying hurdlers. This race is often used as a stepping stone for bigger and better things with often the World Hurdle being the natural progression for winners of this race. The list of entries for the 2010 Neptune Novices Hurdle is looking impressive and is set up to be an exciting renewal on Queen Mother Champion Chase day.
The Dermot Weld horse Rite Of Passage is the one that everybody is talking about as we build up to the Neptune Novices Hurdle and at this stage he certainly looks the one to beat. He has had a flawless season with four back-to-back victories so far and heads to the Cheltenham Festival with a good chance of going off as the warm favourite to take the win. He has won all of his races this term with the minimum of fuss and the only worry remaining is how he will react if under pressure at Cheltenham. Finians Rainbow for Nicky Henderson looks the best equipped to push Rite Of Passage close in the Neptune after a good season so far and is being well backed in the betting. His last run was at Ascot in February when he blew the field away to win as he liked and on that basis has every chance of scoring at the Festival. Henderson is always a trainer to follow at Cheltenham and with Barry Geraghty set to take the ride they will very much fancy their chances.
One that is also attracting a lot of attention over the past couple of weeks is Peddlers Cross who has been attracting a lot of money in the Neptune Novices Hurdle Odds. The Donald McCain Jnr horse has been impressing everyone this season having won all four of his starts so far in a short career. He may still have a lot of improving to do which is an encouragement for his backers but he certainly looked in good shape when he took a win at Haydock last time out in January. Willie Mullins is always a danger in this race as he showed by winning it 2009 with Mikael D'Haguenet and he is back in 2010 with another good challenger. Quel Esprit is that contender for Mullins and he looks a live contender having run well this term, he had a good second place at Leopardstown in January and looks to be good value in the betting for this one. There are a number of live contenders in the betting for punters to consider for the Neptune this year in what could potentially be one of the highlights of the Festival.