On Wednesday, the first Grade 1 on the card was the £100,000 Neptune Investment Management Novices Hurdle (G1) for 4 year olds and up, with a field of 12 going 2 5/8 miles over 10 jumps. 7-1 First Lieutenant stalked the early pace set by 33-1 Aikman. After the 2nd last hurdle, First Lieutenant and 12-1 Rock On Ruby hooked up for a duel to the line, but First Lieutenant dug in to win by a head in 5:10.50. It was another 4 1/2 lengths back to late-running 2-1 fasvorite So Young third.
Winning jockey Davy Russell said, "Daryl (Jacob aboard Rock On Ruby) got a quicker leap at the last but I knew halfway up the straight I'd get him. I just didn't know it would be the last stride. He's a very good horse. The reason he didn't jump the last so well is that he is not a quick hurdling type, he's really a chaser." Owner Michael O'Leary added, "Mouse (Morris, trainer) has done a wonderful job with the horse and Davy gave him a fantastic ride."