Greatrex considering Neptune Investment Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day for progressive Cole Harden

Cheltenham on New Year’s Day (Wednesday, January 1, 2014) is the setting for the fourth race in the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle series.

The £10,000 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle takes place over an extended two and a half miles and has attracted a strong entry of 20. It is staged at 12.10pm, the first contest on the excellent seven-race card.

Cole Harden has won on three of his four starts to date for trainer Warren Greatrex, who is considering a visit to Cheltenham on New Year’s Day for the four-year-old.

The son of Westerner was successful twice in bumpers – at Sedgefield and Worcester – before finishing fourth on his hurdling debut at Fontwell in October. He returned to Fontwell on November 17, when he got off the mark over hurdles in a novices’ event over two and a half miles on heavy ground, scoring decisively by four lengths.

Greatrex, based at the historic Uplands yard in Lambourn, said today:  “Cole Harden is a possible starter in the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day.

“He is also entered at Exeter on the same day as well and I will just have to look at both races.

“He has now won three from four starts and has come on again following his win at Fontwell last time.

“He is a horse on an upward curve and the softer the ground, the better for him. He does have a bit to find on ratings and so ideally I would like to see a few defections in the race at Cheltenham for him to take his chance.

“This is a step up in class and would be his biggest test so far but he is a nice horse and I like him very much. The course at Cheltenham should be no problem for him.

“We are just taking things one step at a time and hopefully there will be some big days with him in the future.”

The 20 entries for the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle on New Year’s Day also include Ballyalton (trained by Ian Williams) who has won on all three starts this season including at Cheltenham last time out and The Skyfarmer (Philip Hobbs) who has also won three times this season including when defeating seasoned opposition in a handicap hurdle at Cheltenham on December 13. Hobbs could also be represented by Royal Regatta, who is unbeaten in two starts over hurdles.

Other interesting possible starters include Racing Pulse (John Quinn) and Full Shift (Nicky Henderson), who are also both unbeaten over hurdles.

About the series

The Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle series consists of eight races throughout the Jump season, culminating with the Grade One Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

It has proved not only an outstanding showcase for young hurdling talent but also a stepping stone to those that go on to shine at the highest level in open company, whether over hurdles or fences.

The Cheltenham Festival winners under Neptune Investment Management’s sponsorship are The New One (2013), Simonsig (2012), First Lieutenant (2011) and Peddlers Cross (2010), while winners of the series races include last season’s Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Bobs Worth.

Now one of the leading corporate sponsors of British racing, Neptune has increased its sponsorship portfolio to include four races on the Flat in the summer, including two of the most prestigious trials for the Ladbrokes St Leger, the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood and the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York.

2013/14 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle Series

Friday, October 18, 2013 – Cheltenham – Won by Saint Roque, owned by Chris Giles & Ian Fogg, trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Daryl Jacob.

Saturday, November 16, 2013 – Cheltenham – Won by Creepy, owned by Mark Boothright, T Hanlon and S Harman, trained by Martin Keighley and ridden by Ian Popham.

Friday, December 6, 2013 – Sandown – Won by  Killala Quay, owned by Richard & Susan Perkins, trained by Charlie Longsdon & ridden by Richard Johnson.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014 – Cheltenham

Saturday, January 11, 2014 – Warwick

Saturday, January 25, 2014 – Cheltenham

Saturday, February 15, 2014 – Ascot

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 – Cheltenham Festival

NOTES TO EDITORS

Neptune Investment Management Limited (“Neptune”)

Neptune is an independent investment management company founded in May 2002. More than 75% of the company is owned by its employees and directors.

Neptune’s expertise lies in equity fund management. At the core of the fund range is a team based approach to research which encompasses macroeconomics, global industry sector analysis and rigorous stock selection.

Neptune’s funds can be held within a pension, ISA, Junior ISA or simply invested in directly*.

To learn more about Neptune, visit www.neptunebigideas.com

Neptune Investment Management Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. FCA number 416015.

*The value of an investment and any income from it can fall as well as rise as a result of market or currency fluctuation and you may not get back the original amount invested.

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