Yanworth heads Neptune 78

Thu 4th Feb 2016, 13:29

Yanworth (right)
© Photo Healy Racing

Yanworth is the headline act among 78 entries for the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival on March 16.

Alan King's six-year-old was hugely impressive in winning the latest Neptune trial at Cheltenham on Saturday and is a hot favourite to extend his unbeaten record over hurdles to five races.

The JP McManus-owned gelding will face a formidable raiding party, with a huge entry of 41 horses hailing from across the Irish Sea.

Willie Mullins is unsurprisingly strong-armed, with Bellshill, Yorkhill and A Toi Phil among 22 possible runners for the all-conquering trainer.

Warren Greatrex is hopeful Ma Du Fou, who has won his last two races at Ffos Las and Bangor, can earn a Neptune appearance on his next start.

He said: "I've always thought a lot of Ma Du Fou and he's won his two races nicely this year.

"A lot will depend on his next run. He could go for the Sidney Banks Memorial Novices' Hurdle at Huntingdon (February 11) and there is also a Listed novices' hurdle at Exeter (February 14) to consider.

"Hopefully, he can make one of them and if he runs well then he's still in the reckoning for the Neptune."

THE IRISH TIMES