2021 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle Guide

Cheltenham - March 19 2021
Cheltenham 14:30
12
Paul Townend

Stattler

J:
 
Paul Townend
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 6
Weight: 11-5
OR: 146
Days: -40

Spearheading the ante post markets and hailing from Closutton under Willie Mullins is six year old Stattler.

Beaten into third on his hurdle debut when a short priced favourite he looked to be outpaced by his rivals but kept on smartly. 

He quickly made amends and won his maiden on his next outing. Paul Townend making better use of his mount’s stamina he forced the pace and showed his staying credentials to rattle home powerfully for a three length win. 

He was then put away until the Dublin Racing Festival where he contended the Nathaniel Lacy 22 furlong novice hurdle. Unable to land a blow on Gaillard Du Mesnil he did however give away 2lbs to the winner who he finished five lengths behind. 

He was keeping on but was seemingly tying up close to home and just got pipped for second by Gentlemansgame. 

A creditable run in Grade One company saw him beaten by one of the leading fancies for the Ballymore and with more experience under his belt Stattler is likely to appreciate a well run three miles. 

A leading fancy and will be hard to beat if taking to the trip. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
04/02/23LEO24Y11-102
01/01/23TRM22Hy11-82
15/03/22CHL30GS11-61
30/01/22NAA25Gd/Y11-21
11/12/21FAI21Y/Sft12-01
Cheltenham - March 19 2021
Cheltenham 14:30
8
Keith Donoghue

Fakiera

J:
 
Keith Donoghue
T:
 
Mrs Denise Foster
Age: 6
Weight: 11-5
OR: 144

Trained at Cullentra, Fakiera is a second season novice with plenty of hurdling experience on his CV. 

His three starts over timber last season yielded a string of second places to smart performers Entoucas, Jon Snow and Politesse. No shame in defeat to any of those three rivals. 

This season he immediately got off the mark over timber and shed his maiden tag back in early November. He then continued his progression by winning a Grade Three over 2.5 miles beating Fire Attack by half a length. 

Moved up in grade again for his next run he found one too good in Grade Two company and was well held behind Ashdale Bob. 

We last saw Fakiera in the same race as Stattler, Fakiera finishing fourth. But he was probably the most eye-catching runner in the race and was keeping on very smartly behind rivals and certainly doing his best work late on. 

Outpaced at Leopardstown last time out, moving up to three miles on a stiff track looks like it will certainly bring the best out of this 6 year old who looks an out and out stayer. 

He has form to overturn with Stattler but he has bags of experience and looks like he’ll love the trip. One for the shortlist. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
26/01/23GOW25Sft/Hy10-711
15/01/23PUN22.5Hy12-52
31/12/22PUN23Sft/Hy11-124
04/12/22FAI29Sft10-82
20/11/22PUN22.5Y11-55
Cheltenham - March 19 2021
Cheltenham 14:30
16
Jack Kennedy

Torygraph

J:
 
Jack Kennedy
T:
 
Mrs Denise Foster
Age: 6
Weight: 11-5
OR: 143
Days: -40

Recently bursting onto the scene in the betting for this race for the team at Cullentra and Denise Foster. 

Beaten on his hurdle debut by Power Of Pause over 2.5 miles, the best was brought out of the six year old when upped in trip to three miles at Fairyhouse in mid December.

He left his maiden status behind in style running out a 13 length winner to a subsequent maiden winner in Velvet Elvis. 

He’s since backed that effort up winning a novice event under the penalty. Only a small field that day he handily dispatched favourite Fighter Allen who’s trained by Willie Mullins. 

The second and third from that last run have both placed in Grade three events since so the form is looking strong enough. 

Clearly a strong stayer, he’s guaranteed to get the trip but does put in the occasional sticky jump. 

He won’t be crying enough up the hill but might be giving away vital ground if his jumping still lacks fluency. Might find a few others too good. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
18/04/22FAI24.5Y11-5PU
27/03/22LIM24.5Gd/Y11-05
20/03/22DPT28.5Gd11-6UR
13/03/22NAA24.5Hy10-010
13/02/22PUN28Hy10-128
Cheltenham - March 19 2021
Cheltenham 14:30
4
Harry Cobden

Barbados Buck's

J:
 
Harry Cobden
T:
 
Paul Nicholls
Age: 6
Weight: 11-5
OR: 143

Related to the legendary staying Hurdle Big Bucks, Barbados Bucks certainly has some big shoes to fill. 

The six year old made his hurdling debut at Stratford in October but was well held behind The Bull McCabe. The experience of his rival telling on the day. 

But next time out at Southwell and upped to three miles, Barbados Bucks reversed form with The Bull McCabe staggeringly and won convincingly under Bryony Frost to shed his maiden tag. 

He’s since followed up twice in novice events and has struck under the double penalty for another win. 

His form might not be the most impressive, but he’s a multiple time winner over three miles and looks a real solid stayer. 
Four hurdle runs means he has experience and he’s handled good to soft and soft ground. 

A guaranteed stayer for a powerful yard, he certainly has a good chance to be in the mix when they turn for home. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
26/12/22WCN24.5GS11-33
25/11/22NBY24Gd10-123
04/03/22NBY24Sft11-129
26/12/21WCN24.5Sft11-1PU
10/12/21CHL25.5GS11-5PU
Cheltenham - March 19 2021
Cheltenham 14:30
2
Paddy Brennan

Alaphilippe

J:
 
Paddy Brennan
T:
 
Fergal O'Brien
Age: 7
Weight: 11-5
OR: 143

Another one who has recently laid down his credentials for this during a very consistent campaign. 

Trained by Fergal O’Brien, Alaphilippe is three out of four over hurdles this campaign. Winning well on his hurdle debut over 2.5 miles, he quickly followed up over 2.5 miles again under the penalty. 

He looked to complete a hat trick just after the turn of the year but was beaten by Stellar Magic. However, it is important to note that back in third was Tolworth Hurdle third Tile Tapper. 

We last saw the seven year old upped in trip to three miles for the first time in Grade Two company and Haydock. Right at home on soft ground and clearly relishing the step up in trip, Alaphilippe destroyed his rivals to run away by 14 lengths. 

A very taking performance in the novice sphere, it’s seen his price contract for the Albert Bartlett quite markedly. 
A strong stayer, handles soft ground well, plenty of experience over hurdles and a graded winner.

Anything above double figure odds is probably a shade big for this one. He’s definitely in with an each way shout. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
17/03/22CHL24Sft10-82
15/01/22WAR25Sft10-85
19/03/21CHL24GS11-55
20/02/21HAY24.5Sft10-121
23/01/21TAU19Sft11-122
Cheltenham - March 19 2021
Cheltenham 14:30
1
Richard Johnson

Adrimel

J:
 
Richard Johnson
T:
 
Tom Lacey
Age: 6
Weight: 11-5
OR: 142
Days: -22

Debuting under rules last season in a 26 lengths demolition at Uttoxeter in a bumper, Adrimel has taken to hurdling incredibly well striking up three wins over timber already. 

Starting life over two miles at Sandown, he was clearly classy and ran away the winner to please favourite backers. 
He quickly followed up under the penalty at Haydock. The deep ground really played into his stamina and he cut through the mud well to his second hurdle victory. 

He last contested the Leamington Spa novice hurdle at Warwick in the middle of January and showed a really game attitude to hold off Mint Condition by a neck to land Grade Two spoils. 

It could be worth noting that Mint Condition was beaten out of sight by Alaphilippe at Haydock last time out. 

A Grade Two win in the books is solid form, he’s shaping like a stayer who will appreciate going up to three miles.

He might just find a couple of horses in here better than he is but has solid place credentials if taking to the trip.  

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
23/11/22WET15Hy11-134
09/04/22AIN25GS10-11PU
17/03/22CHL20.5Sft10-119
19/02/22HAY20Hy11-81
18/12/21HAY16.5Sft11-01
Cheltenham - March 19 2021
Cheltenham 14:30
9
Danny Mullins

N'golo

J:
 
Danny Mullins
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 6
Weight: 11-5
OR: 142
Days: -42

A very busy six year old for Willie Mullins, N’golo has already had seven runs over hurdles this season. 

Starting his campaign in mid summer he made a winning start to life over timber at Galway in a maiden hurdle. 

He’s since followed up winning a novice under a penalty and a Grade Three, all over two miles. Tapped for Toe by Ballyadam in the Royal Bond at Fairyhouse, it was hinted that his future might lie over further. 

He’s since been handily dispatched by Appreciate It twice coming last in both Grade One races won by his stablemate. 

We haven’t seen N’golo try his hand over further than two miles but he’s certainly shaping like he’s not got the pace to lie up with Grade One horses over the minimum trip. 

He could take to this new distance well but there’s a lot of unexplored territory to cover. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
07/05/22HAY15.5GS10-91
23/03/22HAY19Gd11-92
05/03/22KEL21Sft11-26
22/01/22ASC19.5Sft11-17
18/12/21HAY19Sft11-74
Cheltenham - March 19 2021
Cheltenham 14:30
15
A P Heskin

Threeunderthrufive

J:
 
A P Heskin
T:
 
Paul Nicholls
Age: 6
Weight: 11-5
OR: 139
Days: -33

Another representative from Ditcheat for Paul Nicholls, Threeunderthrufive has also had the perfect start to life over hurdles, winning all three starts. 

Starting out over 2.5 miles he duly obliged connections to win his maiden in a big field showing a good deal of stamina to secure victory. 

He backed up a few weeks later to defy the penalty over a slightly longer trip. Beating the well fancied Valleres looked smart form and again he saw out his race strongly to the line. 

The McNeill family owned gelding was last seen at Musselburgh on his first try at three miles. Giving 8lbs and a narrow beating to Fantastikas looks smart form as the second place has since franked the form. 

Again he’s another who looks to have a really big engine and has had further improvement unlocked by stepping up in trip. 

Yet to dip his toe in graded company it can be hard to assess just how good he is. An official rating of 133 probably underestimates his ability. 

Solid enough he gets the trip but might not have the quality to be involved in the finish of this Grade One contest. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
26/11/22NBY26Gd11-5UR
29/10/22WET24GS11-23
16/03/22CHL24.5Sft11-46
15/01/22WAR24Sft11-71
11/12/21DON24GS11-51
Cheltenham - March 19 2021
Cheltenham 14:30
10
Jonjo O'Neill Jr

Oscar Elite

J:
 
Jonjo O'Neill Jr
T:
 
Colin Tizzard
Age: 6
Weight: 11-5
OR: 135
Days: -21

Hailing from the Tizzard yard, this six year old is a point to point winning recruit who made the perfect start to life under rules. 

Sent for hurdling debut at Chepstow on deep ground over 2.5 miles, he absolutely bolted up under Robbie Power and ran away a 20 length winner. 

Following up well in a novice race under the penalty, moving up to three miles held no fears and he dispatched a small field easily. 

Connections then sent him for the Leamington Spa hurdle at Warwick where he struggled up in grade and only managed ninth behind Adrimel. 

Last seen dropping markedly in trip and Grade, he contested a 17 furlong listed race for novices. The drop in trip certainly was not ideal, he still acquitted himself well and ran on into third.

However he was well outpaced by the front two and was beaten a hefty 22 lengths. 

He certainly looks like one that has plenty to find and has struggled when facing higher quality opposition. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
26/11/22NBY26Gd10-710
29/10/22WET24GS11-25
09/04/22AIN25GS10-11PU
15/03/22CHL25GS10-03
29/01/22CHL20.5Gd11-55
Cheltenham - March 19 2021
Cheltenham 14:30
13
Simon Torrens

Streets Of Doyen

J:
 
Simon Torrens
T:
 
John C McConnell
Age: 7
Weight: 11-5
OR: 138
Days: -40

A very busy seven year old novice this year, he actually made his hurdle debut all the way back in November 2019. 

Beaten out of sight in three maidens over two miles that season, he didn’t look to be amassing to much over timber. 

Kept going through the summer and the new season, things didn’t click into place for him until he was sent up in trip for a handicap hurdle over three miles.

Off a mark of 113 he relished the extended trip and broke his maiden in open company. Interestingly he then beat Flooring Porter in another handicap, who’s since won the Grade One Leopardstown Christmas Hurdle. 

Moving back into novice company he’s followed up twice including a course and distance win back in October. 
A busy early schedule saw him have a decent break and come back at the end of February

A Grade Two over two miles asked far too much of him and he struggled to lie up with the field but the run would’ve blown away the cobwebs. 

Talented, experienced, a course and distance winner and some interesting form beating Flooring Porter, he could surprise a few at a price. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
01/10/22GOW24Gd/Y11-95
29/08/22CRT25.5Gd11-93
06/08/22KLB25Gd10-92
26/06/22UTT26Gd11-44
16/05/22KLN26Gd11-12UR
Cheltenham - March 19 2021
Cheltenham 14:30
14
Daryl Jacob

The Cob

J:
 
Daryl Jacob
T:
 
Ben Pauling
Age: 7
Weight: 11-5
OR: 139

Ben Pauling and Daryl Jacob team up here for this seven year old. A second season novice, he was running over inadequate trips last year that saw him still manage to place twice. 

A summer under his belt to develop, he came back this season moved up to two miles and immediately shed his maiden tag at Uttoxeter well. 

Following up in handicap company, a mark of 124 certainly underestimated him. However, moving up in class and up in the weights, he was exposed to more experienced horses and only managed to come third behind Calva D’Auge at Newbury.

Favourite for that run it was disappointing to see him beaten by a wide 16 lengths. 

Undeterred, his connections shifted him up in distance for the River Don at Doncaster and were paid dividends for their gamble. Taking to graded company he looked really smart back against novices and ran out a convincing nine length winner. 

Sent off at 25/1 for the latest win, it was a surprise to connections who’ve had to supplement him for this race as he didn’t hold an entry. 

Holding his own in open company, winning a good trial for this handily, he suddenly has to enter calculations as one that can hit the frame.

Daryl Jacob retains the ride and he does look like a very good stayer.

Shortlist material. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
06/12/22UTT20GS10-131
06/11/22SAN20Hy11-113
09/04/22AIN24.5GS10-10PU
17/03/22CHL24Sft10-4PU
05/02/22SAN23.5GS10-124
Cheltenham - March 19 2021
Cheltenham 14:30
17
Mark Walsh

Vanillier

J:
 
Mark Walsh
T:
 
Gavin Cromwell
Age: 6
Weight: 11-5
OR: 144
Days: -40

Another winning point to pointer in the field, Vanillier was picked up and moved to Gavin Cromwell’s yard for training under rules. 

Well enough fancied on his hurdling debut, he put in a satisfactory performance to finish second by 11 lengths to an easy winner. With experience under him, Vanillier made amends and broke his maiden at the second time of asking. 

Progressing well, he moved into graded company for his next run and was unlucky not to catch Farouk D’alene at the line. 
Looking like a stayer he was tried at the top table in Ireland in the Nathaniel Lacy Hurdle.

Not unfancied at 12/1 he didn’t hold his own in Grade One company and flopped back into 10th. 

Struggling to get involved at grade 1 level and the rival he nearly collared in a Grade Two not deemed good enough for this, he looks to have too much on his plate to get competitive. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
19/12/22PUN20Sft11-106
05/11/22DRO19.5Y11-103
28/04/22PUN23.5Gd/Y11-106
15/03/22CHL30GS11-63
30/01/22NAA25Gd/Y11-103
Cheltenham - March 19 2021
Cheltenham 14:30
7
Aidan Coleman

Champagnesuperover

J:
 
Aidan Coleman
T:
 
Olly Murphy
Age: 6
Weight: 11-5
OR: 126
Days: -21

Brilliantly named off the back of the Cricket World Cup, Champagnesuperover made his debut in a spellbinding performance in a bumper. Smashing up the field he cantered home to a 16 length win. 

Moving to hurdles at the start of the season the six year old was sent off an odds on favourite for two low class events and failed to justify backing.

Held in 2nd on his first outing, he only managed fourth when upped in trip at Chepstow. 

Given a short break and a wind op, he finally got off the mark up at Ayr over 2.5 miles on deep ground. Despite a mistake he looked a cut above the rest of an average field. 

Unable to back up his win under a penalty in another low class affair, he did shape like stamina is going to be his game. Keeping on well in deep ground again hinted that his future could like over further. 

Disappointing in three of his four hurdle starts he has a mountain to climb to be involved. The trip could unlock improvement but he looks more at home in the mud. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
23/10/22AIN25GS11-104
12/05/22PER24GS11-41
09/03/22CAT25.5GS10-121
16/02/22WET21.5Sft11-03
11/01/22DON20.5GS11-74
Cheltenham - March 19 2021
Cheltenham 14:30
11
Rachael Blackmore

Pats Fancy

J:
 
Rachael Blackmore
T:
 
Rebecca Curtis
Age: 6
Weight: 11-5
OR: 133
Days: -21

Moving from the Irish point to point scene to Rebecca Curtis’ yard, he started life for his new trainer in a bumper where he coincidentally finished second to rival Alaphilippe. 

Beaten in another bumper, he swiftly went jumping and scored on his first attempt in maiden company over 2.5 miles. 
Also seen in December in the Grade Two trial for this race, Pats Fancy outran odds of 33/1 to steal second. 

However, when last seen in the River Don behind The Cob, he floundered in a deeper race and failed to complete. 
Another one looking way out of their depth. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
03/12/22CHP23.5GS12-210
15/03/22CHL30GS11-65
12/02/22NBY23.5GS10-62
27/12/21CHP23.5Sft10-111
04/12/21CHP23.5GS11-61
Cheltenham - March 19 2021
Cheltenham 14:30
5
Harry Skelton

Beatthebullet

J:
 
Harry Skelton
T:
 
Rebecca Curtis
Age: 7
Weight: 11-5
OR: 127
Days: -13

A similar profile to Pats Fancy. Beatthebullet is an Irish point to point recruit who’s been taken in by Rebecca Curtis. 
Tapped for toe on his hurdle debut over 2.5 miles, connections moved him right up in trip for his next run and he took to three miles well to win over three miles and one furlong on soft ground. 

A big price for his win, he moved into graded company for his next outing where he was the last runner home in the grade two Albert Bartlett trial at Haydock won by Alaphilippe. 

Seemingly well held on that form, it would be a surprise to see him get involved despite this being a wide open renewal. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
02/12/22EXE30.5GS11-1F
12/11/22CHL25Gd9-128
21/05/22STR27.5Gd11-4PU
13/04/22CHL25.5Gd10-13PU
15/03/22CHL30GS11-64
Cheltenham - March 19 2021
Cheltenham 14:30
6
Paul O'Brien

Castle Robin

J:
 
Paul O'Brien
T:
 
Charlie Longsdon
Age: 6
Weight: 11-5
OR: 130
Days: 48

A likeable, hardy sort for Charlie Longsdon. Castle Robin started his hurdle career last season with one spin over timber that only yielded a third. 

Given time to strengthen up and school the six year old came back to the track with a very pleasing third at Warwick in a tight finish.

The form working out well from that race, he managed to shed his maiden tag on his next run. Moving into handicap company he beat more experienced horses and defied a soft looking mark of 119. 

Beaten on his last three runs, two handicap runs saw him run well but find a few too good for him in open company. 
For his latest run connections moved him back to novice company where he ran well in the River Don behind The Cob.

Shaping well enough for his first try at the trip, he could have more potential unlocked over further. 

Likely to try lie up near the front of the field, he’ll probably get outpaced by the better horses down the hill. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
12/11/22CHL25Gd11-8PU
22/10/22KEL26GS10-54
22/03/22WET24GS11-41
23/02/22DON24Sft11-01
10/01/22LUD25.5Sft11-36
Cheltenham - March 19 2021
Cheltenham 14:30
3
Richard Patrick

Ask A Honey Bee

J:
 
Richard Patrick
T:
 
Fergal O'Brien
Age: 7
Weight: 11-5
OR: 132
Days: -13

The second string for Fergal O’Brien, Ask A Honey Bee was a solid bumper horse last season and took his chance in a deep renewal of the Champion Bumper at last year's festival.

Only managing 13th he was outclassed on the day. Moving to hurdles he’s only managed to get his head in front once. 

Winning on hurdle debut at prohibitive odds over 2.5 miles he’s since struggled to back that up. 
Beaten under the penalty into second twice, he was seeing out his race well but not quite getting to the eventual winner. 

Only managing third in a weak Grade Two trial for this race back in December, we last saw the 7 year old in the River Don Novices’ hurdle at Doncaster where the soft ground got the better of him.

Tailing off when favourite, he pulled up before three out. 

The drying ground will suit but he just lacks to hold that bit of class that an Albert Bartlett winner needs. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
25/11/22NBY24Gd10-117
23/10/22AIN24.5GS11-93
21/05/22STR27.5Gd11-10PU
02/04/22AYR32GS10-9F
09/03/22CAT25.5GS11-42