The Ballymore, formally the Neptune Novices Hurdle, and it also used to be the Royal & Sun Alliance is for 4 year olds plus and a Neptune Novices Hurdle tip is that as this race six year olds have done very well.
The two mile five furlong distance means stayers and potential Staying Hurdlers or long distance chasers of the future and as such suits slightly older horse who are fully matured.
After a spate of favourites winning this race between the years of 1997 and 2000 no favourite had gone on to win this race until 2009 when Mikael d'Haguenet came home in front the 5/2 favourite. Simonsig was added to that list in 2012 with a stunning win under Barry Geraghty, while Faugheen won at 6/4 for Willie Mullins in 2014 as the favourites re-asserted their authority.
Winning trends in this race point towards horses that have arrived at Cheltenham fresh after experiencing a light National Hunt Racing season. It is important to select a horse that has win its previous race before coming to the Cheltenham Festival as these horses are in good form and ready to take on the best competition.
Ballymore Investment Hurdle Odds
The ante post market for the Neptune tends to be a popular and volatile market throughout the National Hunt season. It is always exciting to see the best young novice hurdlers feature in this market and there is always plenty of value on offer for the shrewd punters.
The Ballymore Novices winners from previous years are as follows:
2017 Willoughby Court 6 B Pauling 14/1
2016 Yorkhill 6 W Mullins 3/1
2015 Windsor Park 6 D Weld 9/2
2014 Faugheen 6 W Mullins 6/4F
2013 The New One 5 N Twiston-Davies 7/2
2012 Simonsig 6 N Henderson 2/1f
2011 First Lieutenant 6 M Morris 7/1
2010 Peddlers Cross 5 D McCain Jnr 7/1
2009 Mikael Dhaguenet W P Mullins 5/2F
2008 Fiveforthree W P Mullins 7/1
2007 Massini's Maguire P J Hobbs 20/1
2006 Nicanor N Meade 17/2
2005 No Refuge J Howard Johnson 17/2
2004 Fundamentalist N Twiston-Davies 12/1
2003 Hardy Eustace D Hughes 6/1
2002 Galileo T George 12/1
2000 Monsignor M Pitman 5/4F
Taking a look down this list we learn one thing and that is sometimes a trainer does not know the best distance of his horse as in 2003 Hardy Eustace won this race before going on to win the Champion Hurdle the following two years in 2004 and 2005.