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The Final Novice Grade 1 race over hurdles for the week is the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle which is over 3m.

Over the years this race has been a bookies paradise with double-figure priced winners winning it nine of the last ten years, with the last favourite winning it in 2013.

Cheltenham 2:50 – Chigorin 12/1 (0.5pt EW, Bet365)

This is without a doubt the most competitive novice hurdle race we've had all week, and it normally is the case in most years as the last winning favourite being in 2013 would suggest. As usual, Willie Mullins holds a strong hand in this race with Readin Tommy Wrong being the favourite and the pick of Paul Townend and highest rated horse in the race, Dancing City as second fav. On all known form, the favourite is the one to beat, and I think they chose the correct race with him by going for the Albertt Bartlett, he looked like a true stayer last time out when beating Ile Atlantique, and it came as a shock that day as he won at odds of 16/1. He clearly has plenty of ability and wouldn't surprise me if he won this and did it well, but I wouldn't say he is bulletproof and I'm more than happy to go against him at the prices.

Dancing City is rated 151, has won two out of his three races, but I don't really rate the form of his most recent win from the DRF. The runner-up didn't do him any favours in the Gallagher Novices' won by Ballyburn. No horse would've beaten him in that race, but he was 5th/7 and 26L behind, and you'd have wanted him to be a fair bit closer than where he finished if you were on Dancing City. I think High Class Hero has a better chance than Dancing City and maybe even Readin Tommy Wrong, he is unbeaten as a racehorse, with a perfect 5/5 over rules and a PTP win. He won the same race that Monkfish won at Thurles before coming to win this race back in 2020, so they must hold him in high regard, the problem is that Patrick Mullins is on board and he has never won a hurdles race at Cheltenham. He is a good jockey in the amateur sphere/bumpers, but against these pros I think he is a huge negative to have on board.

The British send a few for this race and over the years they've done alright, including last year's winner Stay Away Fay, but in hindsight, that must've been a fairly weak race and if Corbetts Cross didn't run out at the last he probably would've won. Harry Fry won this back in 2016 with Unowhatimeanharry and he has a lively contender with Gidleigh Park for this year's race. He looks like an out-and-out stayer, and the runner-up boosted the form by finishing 4th in the Coral Cup yesterday. He is an EW player, but does he have the ability to beat the Irish?

Personally, I can't touch Captain Teague or Johnnywho, who both ran in the Challow. The Nicholls horse won it that day, and has always looked like a stayer, but the form looks horrific and he was legless that day over 2m 4f. The Jonjo horse looked in need of a marathon trip on the back of that race, he was running home the strongest, but once again the form is very questionable with the Pauling horse (in this race as well) being in 3rd and the Lookaway in 2nd.

I eventually landed on taking a punt on Henry De Bromhead's horse, Chigorin. I'm not worried about backing a bigger-priced horse for this race, the stats tell you that this is a race for an outsider to improve and go on and win, and I think Chigorin has a better chance than the odds would suggest. His hurdles debut wasn't the best, but he wasn't fancied to run well at odds of 25/1, meaning he would've needed the run. The form of that race isn't great by any means, but the winner was second to Fun Fun Fun last time out and going off how Chigorin raced next time out over 2m 7f, 2m 3f was never going to be what he wanted. I thought he was impressive last time out at Fairyhouse on heavy ground over 2m 7f where he looked like a proper staying horse, he beat Palace House who was ahead of him on debut and beat the odds-on Mullins horse into third. The third went on to win by 9L next time out, but the form isn't what I'm bothered about, it was the way he stretched a few lengths clear after jumping the last. He was a couple of lengths behind the first three going into the final flight, pinged the hurdle and then scooted clear. On RPRs he has a lot to do to improve, but the way Henry has his horses firing, I think he is one ot the lively outsiders, and he won this race in 2019 with a 50/1 shot.

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