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Yanworth can sail to success in Neptune Novices’ Hurdle

| 16.03.2016

David Metcalf | March 15, 2016

Alan King’s exciting Yanworth can rule in the Neptune

Yanworth has done nothing but impress this season and can fend off a strong Irish challenge to land the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle that opens proceedings on day two of the Cheltenham Festival (13.30).

The Alan King trained gelding had some top form to his name in bumpers last season, including when fourth to Moon Racer at this meeting, and has has won all four starts over the obstacles in facile fashion.

In the last of those on Festival Trials day at this venue, Yanworth took the step up into Grade 2 company in his stride when sauntering to a seven length success over the highly regarded Shantou Village.

Strong traveller with potent turn of foot


After being held-up in the early stages by jockey Barry Geraghty, Yanworth scythed through the field without being asked any sort of question.

As Shantou Village kicked home home approaching the last, Geraghty sat motionless on the JP McManus owned six-year-old and oozed confidence.

It was then just a case of what Yanworth would find when he pushed the button, and the answer was plenty as he quickened clear instantly when asked on the run-in to win unextended.

It was one of the most exciting and breathtaking performances seen by a novice for many a year, and a reproduction is going to make Yanworth very tough to beat.

Mullins duo command plenty of respect

A Toi Phil is a lightly raced and unexposed six-year-old who looked a smart prospect when landing a Grade 2 contest at Leopardstown when last seen in action and looks the one most likely to capitalise is Yanworth fails to live up to expectations.


The Willie Mullins trained gelding travelled strongly throughout before pulling clear to win easily by seven lengths, and it was a most taking performance which suggested there was plenty more improvement left in the locker.

Another interesting contender is A Toi Phil’s stable companion Yorkhill.

Yorkhill’s Tolworth success has worked out well

The Willie Mullins trained gelding looked a top notch prospect last season when unbeaten in two bumpers, and confirmed that view when putting a faultless jumping performance to score easily by 8 1/2 lengths on hurdles debut at Punchestown.

Yorkhill then took the step up into Grade 1 company in his stride to register a comfortable 2 1/4 length success in the Tolworth Hurdle At Sandown when last seen in action, and the runner-up and third home have both scored since to give the form a solid look.


For all the latest Cheltenham Festival content, check out Coral’s dedicated page.

Coral’s top tip: Yanworth looks an exceptional novice and rates a rock solid bet to land the day two opener. A Toi Phil is a nice progressive type and can chase him home.

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David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.