Spa Novices’ Hurdle Race Card

Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1) (Registered as The Spa Novices' Hurdle) (GBB Race)

1st
Mark Walsh

Vanillier

Age: 6
Weight: 11.4
OR: 144
J:
 
Mark Walsh
T:
 
Gavin Cromwell
pressed leader, led going easily 2 out, shaken up and edged right before last, 3 lengths ahead last, ridden and quickened clear final 110yds, readily (regarding the apparent improvement in form, trainer said his yard had been out of form and now appeared to be running well)
2nd
Jonjo O'Neill Jr

Oscar Elite

Age: 6
Weight: 11.4
OR: 135
J:
 
Jonjo O'Neill Jr
T:
 
Colin Tizzard
raced wide, midfield, steady headway going easily before 2 out, ridden and went second before last, kept on but no chance with winner final 110yds
3rd
Simon Torrens

Streets Of Doyen

Age: 7
Weight: 11.4
OR: 138
J:
 
Simon Torrens
T:
 
John C McConnell
towards rear, steady headway and in touch with leaders after 3 out, ridden after 2 out, outpaced before last, rallied and went third run-in, soon edged right, kept on, no match for first two
4th
Paul Townend

Stattler

Age: 6
Weight: 11.4
OR: 146
J:
 
Paul Townend
T:
 
W P Mullins
midfield, not fluent 1st, steady headway and prominent after 3rd, going easily before 2 out, pushed along and briefly went second before last, ridden and keeping on when not fluent last, no extra final 110yds

Third race of Gold Cup Day

The Spa Novices’ hurdle, usually known as the Albert Bartlett, is the third race on the final day of the Cheltenham festival.

The race is run over three miles, with 12 hurdles to jump over the new course at Cheltenham. It is for novice hurdlers aged four and older and is usually regarded as the most difficult novice hurdle of the national hunt season.

There is prize money of £73,500 on offer to the winner of the Grade One prize.

History of the Spa Novices’ Hurdle

The race is part of the new Cheltenham festival programme revamp in 2005 when the Festival was changed from three days to four.

Initially, the race was entered into the festival as a Grade two contest and was titled the Brit Insurance hurdle. This changed in 2008 when it was promoted to Grade one status and in turn the sponsorship was taken over by Albert Bartlett, who are a vegetable growing company. The Albert Bartlett sponsorship has meant the race has earned a nickname of the ‘potato race’.

Recent years

At massive odds of 50/1, Rachael Blackmore became the second women to ride a Grade one winner at the festival when she steered Minella Indo to success in 2019 for Henry De Bromhead.

Since it’s addition to the festival in 2005, the race has been fairly shared around amongst the trainers, with the only trainer to win the race more than once being Jonjo O’Neill, who has trained two winners, both coming in the first three years, back to back, in 2006 and 2007, which can be seen below:

Jonjo O’Neill:

Black Jack Ketchum (2006)

Wichita Lineman (2007)

In O’Neill’s two victories in 2006 and 2007, both horses were ridden by AP McCoy, who has won the race three times, more than other jockey. He also won the race in 2013 abroad A Fishers Cross for Rebecca Curtis.

No jockey currently riding has ever won the race more than once, with the now retired Andrew Thornton the only other jockey alongside McCoy to win the race more than once with victories in 2005, the first running of the race and then in 2008.

A full list of McCoy’s successes in the race can be seen below:

AP McCoy:

Black Jack Ketchum (2006)

Wichita Lineman (2007)

At Fishers Cross (2013)

There is no McCoy or Thornton in 2020. Jonjo O’Neill may have won his two way back at the beginnings of the race but he certainly knows how to prepare his novices for the extreme test so his runners may be worth keeping an eye on.

The race is often seen as a starting point for future staying hurdlers, more than anything. Penhill won the 2017 race before going onto win the 2018 Stayers hurdle whilst UnowwhatImeanharry won the race 2016 and placed in the 2017 stayers hurdle.

Free Bets & Offers


Bet £5 & Get £20 FREE BETS! 😍
NEW CUSTOMERS ONLY. FIRST SINGLE & E/W BET ONLY. ODDS OF 1/1 OR GREATER. 2 X £10 BET TOKENS. FREE BET STAKES NOT INCLUDED IN RETURNS. FREE BETS ARE NON WITHDRAWABLE. NO FREE BET EXPIRY. ELIGIBILITY RESTRICTIONS. FURTHER T&CS APPLY. 18+. BEGAMBLEAWARE.ORG
Claim Bonus
📲 MOBILE OFFER - BET £10 & GET £40 IN FREE BETS
Sign-up via Mobile using promo code N40 and place a bet of £10/€10 or more and we will give you 4x £10/€10 free bets. By entering the Promo code in the box above you agree to the full terms and conditions of this promotion as displayed below. See full terms below.
Claim Bonus

🏆 £20 Risk Free First Bet - Money Back in CASH 🏆
New customers only, limited to one per person. If you’ve previously had a Paddy Power account, you will not qualify for the offer. Place your first bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £/€20. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🟠 £40 Welcome Bonus! 🟠
18+/New depositing customers on STSbet.co.uk only/11.02.20 - until further notice/First deposit min. £10/Qualifying accumulator bet with min. stake of £10 and min. 2 selections with min. odds of 1/2 (1.50) per selection/Bonus: 50% of the stake of the qualifying bet/Max bonus £40, credited once the qualifying bet has settled/Bonus wagering requirements: x6 on min. odds of 1/2 (1.50) as a single bet, or 1/2 (1.50) per selection as part of an accumulator bet. Bonus valid for any sports, for 7 days. Deposit method restrictions apply./ Full T&Cs apply/ BeGambleAware.org
Claim Bonus
🔴 Bet £10, Get £20 in free bets! 🔴
New members. £10 min deposit & bet on sportsbook, placed & settled at 1.5 min odds within 14 days of sign-up. Win part of E/W bets. 2 non-withdrawable £10 Free Bet Tokens: accept in 7 days, valid for 7 days from acceptance (ex. E/Ws & Multiples), stakes not returned. Click here for Rules & Exclusions. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org. 18+
Claim Bonus
✅ BET £20 AND GET YOUR MONEY BACK IN CASH IF IT LOSES! ✅
New customers only. Deposit £20 using Debit Card or Trustly. Up to your first £20 of losses will be refunded as CASH within 24 hours of qualifying bet having been settled. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
100% Welcome Bonus Up To £50 🙌
The offer is available to new players who made their first deposit. Enter bonus code TONY50 and wager your deposit 10 times on betting markets with odds of at least 1.65 within 30 days. 18+ T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🏆 £20 Risk Free First Bet - Money Back in CASH 🏆
New customers only, limited to one per person. If you’ve previously had a Betfair account, you will not qualify for the offer. Place your first bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £/€20. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🟠 Bet £10 Get £30 + £10 casino bonus! 🟠
New customers only – Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Deposit method and withdrawal restrictions apply & Full T&C’s apply
Claim Bonus
BET £10 & GET A £10 FREE BET! 💪
New UK customers only. £10 Min Deposit. 100% matched free bet on your first deposit of £10. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bets. Debit Card deposits only. This offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered. Full Terms apply. 18+. BeGambleAware.org. Bet The Responsible Way.
Claim Bonus
⚡️Get up to £100 in Bet Credits⚡️
New Customers only. Up to £100* in Bet Credits. Sign up, deposit £5* or more to your account and bet365 will match your qualifying deposit in Bet Credits when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply.
Claim Bonus
🌟 Bet £10 & Get £20 in Bonuses 🌟
18+ New Customers only. Deposit, opt in and place a £10 qualifying bet at odds of 2.00 or greater within 7 days of opening a new account; excludes cashed out bets. Receive a £10 Free Sports Bets, valid on set events only at odds 2.00 or greater, expires in 7 days.  Plus a £10 Game Show Bonus, selected games, wager 40x to withdraw a max of £250. T&Cs Apply. Please Gamble Responsibly.
Claim Bonus
When The Fun Stops. Stop.