Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle Tips - 2:50pm Cheltenham

2020 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle Preview

The Albert Bartlett is the third race on the final day of the Festival, otherwise known as the ‘warm up’ act for the Cheltenham Gold Cup which follows this race. A novice hurdle over 3 miles and very much a race where future chasing stars are born. Previous winners such as Bobs Worth and Weapons Amnesty both went on to lift the Gold Cup.

It’s also a race that has punters scratching their heads, the last six winners have started at 50/1, 33/1, 16/1, 11/1, 14/1 and 33/1. This has to go down to the fact that young horses are improving all the time and even more so as go over longer trips, many horse have yet to show their true potential when turning up here, hence the shock results.

Having said that you can’t get away from the form in the book and Thyme Hill certainly sets the standard. Trained by Philip Hobbs the 6yo is now unbeaten in three starts over hurdles and has looked more impressive each time.

Last season he was third in the Champion Bumper behind Envoi Allen and that race has thrown up plenty of hurdle winners this term. He kicked off by winning a Garde 2 contest at Chepstow back in October. He beat Fiddlerontheroof that day by two lengths and the form has held up well.

Next time out he came to Cheltenham and won another Grade 2 race by 3 lengths, jockey Richard Johnson lost his irons that day but he still won with something to spare. Last time at Newbury he finally got his Garde 1 prize when winning the Challow Hurdle over 2m4f. He was made to work that day and now is the time to step up to three miles and see what he is really made of.

Colin Tizzard has a good bunch on novices this season and has a chance with Harry Senior who seems to be improving with each outing. After getting beat three times earlier in the season he came good at Chepstow over the Christmas period, the win coincided with a step up in trip and hasn’t looked back since.

Last time out he won the Grade 2 Ballymore trial over 2m4f and stayed on really well up the Cheltenham hill suggesting that this trip will bring about even more improvement.

David Pipe saddles Ramses De Teillee, he's an interesting runner as he ran in the Grand National last season and that remains his target again. He was put into a hurdle race here back in October to give him a run out and to protect his handicap mark over fences. He ran so well that day that connections have kept him over the smaller obstacles most of the season and he has now won three races. He stays forever so he has worries on that score and has to be considered in an open race.

The Irish challenge comes from Latest Exhibition trained by Paul Nolan, he has won three races this season and has improved with each run. He first came to prominence when second to Abacadabras over an inadequate two miles at Navan in November, that was a Grade 3 contest.

Next time out he was upped in trip and in class but came home 2 ¼ lengths clear of the very well regarded Andy Defresne from the Gordon Elliott camp. It seemed the further he went the better he travelled so next time out went up to 2m6f at Leopardstown in February.

He took on the best young stayers in Ireland that day and came out on top from Cobbler’s Way, Longhouse Poet and Fury Road. He comes here full of confidence of getting the three miles and coming up the hill strongly and looks a danger to all.

Willie Mullins has only won this race once since it was established in 2005 and that was with Penhill who went on to win the Stayers Hurdle too. This time round he saddles Monkfish who is owned by the Ricci’s.

The 6yo was beaten on his hurdles debut but that was over a much shorter trip, since then he has won twice, at Fairyhouse over 2m7f and at Thurles over 2m6f. His races have been a little low key but he has hardly broke sweat the last couple of times and comes here a relatively fresh horse with untapped potential.

Gigginstown Stud have won this race twice with Very Wood and Weapons Amnesty, although the outfit is scaling down their operation in the future they still have a decent sort in Fury Road to fly the flag this season.

He started the campaign in great style by winning on debut at Down Royal by 18 lengths, next time out he won a Grade 3 race at Navan by 10 lengths and looked a really progressive type. He then won at Limerick over 2m7f in heavy ground showing he stays really well and also showed his battling qualities when challenged late on.

Last time out he lost his unbeaten record when he could only finish 4th at the Dublin Festival behind Latest Exhibition. Although it was a disappointment the form is pretty solid and connections will still have hope of reversing that form on this stiffer track.

Punters Lounge Tip: Latest Exhibition 6/1 at William Hill - Click Here To Bet
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