Nicholls trust in Fehily makes Neptune a Hennessy contender
The trust that Paul Nicholls has shown in Noel Fehily could mean that Neptune Collonges is a worthy bet to win the Hennessy Gold Cup.
Fehily faces a potentially career-changing few weeks as he bids to prove himself as the perfect replacement for Ruby Walsh on board Nicholls’ biggest stars, including Kauto Star.
Fehily has been given the job of steering Kauto Star to a historic fifth victory in the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day as regular jockey Walsh is sidelined with a double leg break.
Last season’s Cheltenham Gold Cup winner is 5/4 to win the King George again and overhaul Desert Orchid as the race’s most successful horse.
However, this is not the only big mount that awaits Fehily in the coming weeks, as he prepares to ride other leading Nicholls chances in valuable races.
Fehily has already showed his composure under intense pressure by winning on board Master Minded at Ascot and he is also set to take the mount on the third member of Nicholls’ Cheltenham Festival big fancies.
Along with Kauto Star and Master Minded, Big Buck’s is widely fancied for Cheltenham and is already 4/5 to win the Ladbrokes World Hurdle.
Part of his preparation comes this weekend at Newbury in the Long Distance Hurdle, which represents his seasonal reappearance.
Also at Newbury, Fehily will be riding Neptune Collonges for Nicholls in the Hennessy Gold Cup.
Neptune Collonges has been off the racecourse for over 18 months because of a tendon injury, but could represent good each-way value in the Newbury Hennessy betting odds at 12/1.
The nine-year-old grey’s last appearance was in the 2009 Cheltenham Gold Cup when finishing fourth, eight lengths behind Denman off equal weights.
In the Hennessy, Neptune Collonges is receiving 18lbs off Denman, who is the 4/1 favourite, and a repeat of his Cheltenham performance would certainly leave him in the driving seat.
A £10 bet on Neptune Collonges to win the Hennessy could win £120. New Ladbrokes customers can sign up here for a free £10 bet.