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Neptune gamble to look rash after Alvisio Ville Deloitte victory

| 07.02.2015

Rookie hurdler Alvisio Ville has been the subject of sustained support for the Neptune Novices Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in the last three days, having been backed down from from 16/1 to 8/1 favourite since Thursday.

However, it’s possible that punters’ faith in the Willie Mullins-trained five-year-old being aimed at the 2m4f contest in March could start to look rather misplaced if he lands 11/10 odds about victory in the Deloitte Novices Hurdle on a Leopardstown card stacked with Cheltenham clues.

Seven winners of the Irish Grade 1 have gone on to contest the Neptune at that year’s festival over the past decade.

None have finished better than fourth.

The other three Deloitte winners contested the Supreme Novices Hurdle instead, fairing infinitely better.

Champagne Fever and Vautor landed the Irish race before going on to take the 2m laurels at Prestbury Park.

The third, Dunguib was a respectable bronze medallist in the 2010 Cheltenham curtain raiser.

Alvisio Ville is certainly fancied to emulate the aforementioned trio with victory in the Deloitte by those in the know and it might just be worth going against the Neptune money as result.

After all, it would be a surprise to see the 10/1 about him winning the Supreme still available were he to win at Leopardstown.

Ruby Walsh, who ought to have a close handle on the hierarchy of Mullins’ hurdlers as the stable jockey at Closutton, certainly seems to think he will too.

The jockey, who had the choice of the trainer’s three non-JP-McManus-owned mounts in the race, had the following to say in his weekly column for the Irish Examiner:

“Willie Mullins throws four darts at the Grade 1 Deloitte Novice Hurdle and I’m on [5/1 shot] Nichols Canyon, who got rid of me at the third at Leopardstown on his latest appearance.

He won at Fairyhouse and Cork prior to that, is a fair horse in his own right and will like the two and quarter miles.

McKinley [14/1] keeps going forward, but Sempre Medici [also 14/1] has to improve his jumping, although possessing a solid engine.

But if I had a choice it would be Alvisio Ville, who is owned by J P McManus and will be ridden by Tony McCoy.”

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.