Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle Tips

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2.50 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle

Friday 18 March  |  Age: 5yo+ | Prize: £75,964
The third race on the last day of the Cheltenham Festival, the Spa Novices’ Hurdle – often known as the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle – is a Grade 1 race run over approximately three miles of Cheltenham’s New course.

Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle Tips

The one winner of this race in the last ten years, it wouldn’t be a great surprise to see an upset or an outsider win today. In the last ten years, other than the favourite, only two winners have been single-figure odds, and they were still 5/1 and 7/1, so it goes to show you can find value in this race. We had a 14/1 winner last year, 50/1 back in 2019, 33/1 in 2018 as well as many priced in teens in the years before.

Coming into this race, HILLCREST has been one of the horses who has got a lot of support throughout this season. One of the main reasons is due to the looks of the horse, as he is absolutely massive. He will dwarf every single horse in this race and looks a chaser in the making. If they go novice chasing next year, which they should, I hope he can jump a fence, as he looks like a potential Gold Cup horse in the making. Going off his hurdles form, it’s not great on the bare look of it, but what you’re going to get from this horse is a relentless galloper, who will stay the trip and is up for a battle. At 10/3 he is plenty short enough in a race that has produced many upsets in the past, and I’d be looking elsewhere.

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GINTO is the market favourite and is another horse who has done very little wrong in the lead up to the Festival and arguably deserves to be the favourite ahead of Hillcrest. His form has more of a standard to it than the British horse, with horses that he has beat, have since run well in Graded races, such as Hollow Games and even Whatdeawant who finished 3rd in the Ballymore on Wednesday. Though he hasn’t been tried at this trip, everything points to him preferring this trip, but once again he is far too short for me to get stuck into, but if he was to win, it wouldn’t surprise me at all.

Another player based on his run at the Leopardstown Festival last month is MINELLA COCOONER. Paul Townend has elected to ride this lad over his many stablemates in the race, and I don’t think you can blame him. He won, probably due to getting a top-class front running ride by Danny Mullins last time out, but he did look like a stayer for this trip and is definitely an EW play in the race. He won’t be able to get an easy lead in this like last time, as you have front runners like STAG HORN who only seem to know one way of running.

The more I do look at this race, the ones towards the front of the market do seem quite clear of the rest, but I will be taking a chance at a big outsider to hopefully run a big race, and grab a place, and maybe more. IDAS BOY has to improve to get involved in this, and that’s why his odds are as big as they are, but I think he is being a little underestimated. This lad was once a decent bumper horse, and even though he hasn’t quite got his act together over hurdles, I think his most recent run where he finished 2nd to a nice-looking Gordon Elliott horse is decent enough form.

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He was beaten by a horse called Gerri Colombe, who was 2/2 in bumpers and is now 2/2 over hurdles, he eventually beat Idas Boy quite well, but he was made to work for the win. That race had been won in the past by Monkfish, who went from that Novice race at Thurles to win the Albert Bartlett in his very next race. Other winners of that race include First Approach, who flopped at Cheltenham but ran Minella Indo and others to very good races before and after the Festival.

The Storyteller is also a noticeable winner of that race, so even though Idas Boy didn’t win, chances are that he bumped into a decent horse, so the fact he wasn’t put to shame, he can potentially run a nice race at big odds. Also, Churchstonewarrior was back in 3rd that day, beaten by 6 lengths into 3rd from the selection, that horse was 8.25L behind Ginto, which is another thing to note.

Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle Tips

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Distance: 2m 7f 213y
Type: Hurdle
Class: 1
Track: Turf
No
Silks
Runner
17
The Nice Guy
111

10
Hillcrest
1-111U1

7
Ginto
121-111

19
Where It All Began
29-2212

13
Minella Cocooner
2-1211

12
Mahler Mission
2/3211

4
Classic Getaway
1-121

6
Falcon Eight
51

5
Eric Bloodaxe
7/4-1217

9
Green Book
211U14

15
Shantreusse
21-211

2
Bardenstown Lad
311311

14
Ramillies
1586-31

16
Stag Horn
11

1
Ballygrifincottage
U1-1131

8
Good Time Jonny
F31611

3
Brorson
327113

11
Idas Boy
23-1242

18
The Real Whacker
612

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