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Value At Risk poised to enhance Neptune claims

Value At Risk put up a breathtaking performance when winning on hurdling debut and can confirm himself as a leading contender for the Neptune at the Cheltenham Festival in March by landing the trial for that contest at the track today (3.00).

The gelding was not far off the best bumper horses last year when trained in Ireland by Philip Fenton, with his runs including an excellent 2 3/4 length third to Shaneshill in a Grade 1 contest at the Punchestown Festival.

The six-year-old subsequently joined Dan Skelton and looked a hurdler with enormous potential when scoring on debut for his new handler at Newbury.

The son of Kayf Tara jumped well throughout and after taking up the running at the third pulled effortlessly clear two from home to beat Foryourinformation by 22 lengths.

The runner-up is a well-regarded sort who has come out and won since to give the form a boost, and it was an immensely taking performance by Value At Risk on his first run for 231 days.

It was one which marked him out as a big player for the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival on Wednesday, March 11th, and Coral currently go 12/1 about him for the 2m 5f contest.

If, as expected, he wins well today then I would expect those odds to shorten dramatically.

Stilletto represents the powerful Philip Hobbs’ yard and may well prove to be the biggest danger to Value At Risk.

The gelding was bought for £130,000 after winning on debut in an Irish point at Maralin and looked a smart prospect when scoring first time up over hurdles at Chepstow for new connections.

The six-year-old raced powerfully throughout at the head of affairs and found plenty when asked after the last to score by 1 1/4 lengths.
Although the son of Westerner probably didn’t beat anything of real note, there was plenty to like about the way he went about his business and the fact that connections are now pitching Stilletto straight into Grade 2 company suggests he is held in the highest regard.