Cheltenham Betting Preview: Finian's Oscar Festival Bound

Sky Bet

Tagged under: Festival

Not content with having the two ante-post market leaders for the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup in the shape of the best priced 11-10 ( Paddy Power and Betfair Sportsbook ) favourite Thistlecrack along with this season’s Hennessy and Coral Welsh Grand National hero Native River ( 8-1 Betfred, Stan James and Ladbrokes ) the Colin Tizzard stable unleashed yet another potential festival scorer in Finian’s Oscar who shot to the head of the betting for the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle after the five-year-old’s impressive victory in Sandown’s Grade 1 32Red Tolworth Hurdle on Saturday afternoon, although the gelding is also likely to be given an entry in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and the Albert Bartlett in just over nine week’s time.

Purchased for the not inconsiderable sum of £250,000 last November following an Irish point-to-point win new owner’s Ann and Alan Potts may turn out to have a bargain-buy on their hands as the son of Oscar put up possibly the best performance by a novice this side of the Irish sea this season when handing out a five length thrashing to the highly-rated Paul Nicholls inmate Capitaine who had no answer when jockey Tom O’Brien asked the 11-10 favourite to put the race to bed approaching the second-last hurdle.

While not committing himself to the versatile gelding’s festival target at this early stage Tizzard intimated that of the three options the most likely is the opening two mile five furlong contest on the Wednesday for which Finian’s Oscar is clear favourite with all bookmakers, the best available being the 6-1 on offer with Bet365, Betfred, Betvictor and Betfair Sportsbook. A 12-1 chance with Boylesports, Paddy Power and Betfair Sportsbook for the five furlong shorter Supreme Novices Hurdle, while those willing to risk backing the horse to step up to the three miles of the Albert Barltett can avail themselves of the 16-1 on offer with both Skybet and Betvictor.

The winning jockey could not hide his delight as he guided the exciting hurdler home, telling ITV4 viewers: “ He’s very special. He was a bit inexperienced but kept it together and ran well. I’ve not ridden many horses like him. It was like riding a Grade 1 horse in a handicap, he does everything so easy.”

Finian’s Oscar is likely to have one more outing this side of the Cheltenham Festival.

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