Albert Bartlett River Don Novices' Hurdle Guide 2022

Doncaster - January 29 2022
Doncaster 14:45
Joshua Moore

Unanswered Prayers

J: Joshua Moore
T: Chris Gordon
Age: 6
Weight: 10-12
OR: 126
Days: 21

There are a few nice types going into this race, with all of the runners either winning in their last start or the time before, so some inform horses in the race too.

The Chris Gordon gelding looks to have pick of the form however, with 6 runs under rules already, 2 of them have resulted in victories and an unlucky disqualification where he was demoted down to 2nd after causing interference which could have made it 3 career wins.

He is two for four over hurdles and looks to be getting better and better with each run, and vibes from the yard are that he could be even better going over the longer trip, which he does in this race on Sunday. He is also taking the step up in Grade, but like most of these he is tackling it for the first time.

His performance last time was arguably his most impressive, beating a horse of Paul Nicholls with ease, making smooth headway just before the home turn that really caught the eye, and led approaching the last, before pulling away coming up to the line and really ran through it.

That was at 2m5f, and he looked a thorough stayer in the making, so this step up to 3 miles for the first time is sure to suit.

He is an exciting prospect in this and will have to run well in this race if he is a serious Albert Bartlett contender. Kept on well at Wincanton on his last start, winning by just over 2 lengths, stepping up to 3 miles for the first time which looks more than likely to suit. The one to beat in this.

Doncaster - January 29 2022
Doncaster 14:45
Alex Edwards

My Bobby Dazzler

J: Alex Edwards
T: Mel Rowley
Age: 7
Weight: 10-12
OR: 130
Days: 28

Mel Rowley’s point winner looks to be potentially a very nice staying horse, who has already had 3 wins in just 8 starts over hurdles, with his best performance to date coming in a class 3 14 runner field at Cheltenham last time out, only getting beaten by just over 6 lengths keeping on superbly all the way to the line.

His winning run last time out at Aintree was also very eye catching, running at the 3 mile trip for the very first time and looking to really relish the step up in trip, beating some other decent staying types by a brilliant 21 lengths, running on through the line, which is something to really take into account when looking into these staying races.

He looks like a lovely young horse who could really take the step up in Grade in his stride, should he produce a run like last time, he could be very hard to peg back against these less experienced rivals.

Career best when finishing fourth at Cheltenham, staying on superbly all the way up the hill to the line, was an impressive 21 length winner the time before at Aintree when tackling 3 miles for the first time, looks set to run another big race in this better company.

Doncaster - January 29 2022
Doncaster 14:45
Luca Morgan

Not At Present

J: Luca Morgan
T: Ben Pauling
Age: 7
Weight: 10-12
OR: 123
Days: 34

The Ben Pauling charge is the form horse in the race, winning his last three starts and the overall record of 4 wins out of 10 runs over hurdles already, really showing he deserves to run in this graded company since he is improving with each run.

He was campaigned at 2m5f or less before the winner sequence which didn’t look to suit at all, but since stepping up to 2m7f or further he hasn’t looked back, with form figures of 5212111 since stepping up to this marathon trip.

He looks to be another type that is improving with each run and another thorough stayer in the making, rising from the rating of 105 to now being rated 130, the highest rating in the race.

The others must find a couple of pounds improvement on him, and given his current run he might not have reached his ceiling rating himself yet, giving him a good chance in this contest which looks to be very wide open.

Highest rated in the field with three wins in a row and four wins since stepping up to 2m7f trip recently, seems to be thriving at present and looks like another decent staying type, will go well in this.

Doncaster - January 29 2022
Doncaster 14:45
Ryan Mania

Coolbane Boy

J: Ryan Mania
T: Sandy Thomson
Age: 7
Weight: 10-12
OR: 128
Days: 28

One of the higher rated runners in the contest who has been well supported in the market heading into this weekend.

He was trained over in Ireland before joining the Sandy Thompson team, a winner in a bumper race by 3 lengths at Thurles, looking very impressive on the day.

He was a winner last time out on just his second run for his new stable and did win in fine style by just under 5 lengths, but that was only in a class 4 race and the form in behind hasn’t exactly been franked, he is also 1 for 11 over hurdles so is slightly more exposed than the others, but he looks to be a thorough stayer in the making.

He has been nicely backed in the market throughout the week so he must be showing something at home, which is certainly something to keep an eye on heading into the weekend, he could take the step up to 3 mile in his stride.

Winner last time out, but only 1 win in 11 hurdle runs so is slightly more exposed than the rest of these, his performance last time out showed he is a real stayer however, and he could win this testing race, with the experience surely going to suit these younger types.

Will give it a good go.

Doncaster - January 29 2022
Doncaster 14:45
James Bowen

Mahler Mission

J: James Bowen
T: John C McConnell
Age: 6
Weight: 10-12
Days: 15

Another Irish raider heading to Doncaster on Saturday, as John McConnell sends over Mahler’s Mission to tackle this Grade 2 contest.

He couldn’t have been more impressive when winning at Sedgefield last time out, travelling strongly throughout the race to make all, jump superbly and win going away from the last by 14 lengths.

The form of that race is questionable, but his maiden win couldn’t have been any more impressive, with usual improvement to come from him with each run he could take the step up in trip and class in his stride, making him a big danger at a decent price.

Impressive winner last time out, takes the step up in class and trip, trip unknown but looks like he could handle it. Could run well at bigger odds.

Doncaster - January 29 2022
Doncaster 14:45
Harry Skelton

The Real Whacker

J: Harry Skelton
T: Ann Duffield
Age: 6
Weight: 10-12
Days: 48

The least exposed runner in the field with only 2 runs to his name who is currently trained by Ann Duffield, used to be trained by Patrick Neville in Ireland, having only one start for that yard which was a 6th place finish in an 18-runner field.

He won with ease on stable debut with Ann Duffield, making smooth headway when approaching the last, he did jump that very novicey but ran on and surged past the line to win by 7 lengths.

This was over 3m1f, so we know he will stay the trip of this race, but he will have to improve considerably to win a race of this calibre on only his third career start, so this does look slightly above his abilities for now, but he did look a nice prospect when winning last time out and could be a horse to keep an eye on going forward this season.

Only had two career wins but was an impressive 7 length winner last time out on stable debut, will have to step up that form to win in Graded company but does look a nice prospect for the future.

Probably best watched in this for now.

Doncaster - January 29 2022
Doncaster 14:45
Tom Bellamy

Bridge North

J: Tom Bellamy
T: Henry Daly
Age: 6
Weight: 10-12
OR: 122
Days: 19

Henry Daly has his horses absolutely flying at present, currently on 19 winners for the season already and ahead of his previous 2 seasons and looking like it could be a career best season for the yard, with 43 winners being their highest.

He hasn’t finished out of the placings in his four rules starts with form figures of 3321, with his last run a winner one in a class 4 contest at Ludlow, that was only a maiden hurdle however so he would have to step up form wise to compete with a few of these.

He also tackles the step up to 2m7f for the first time in his career, but looking at his previous run, he was staying on all the way to the line on the flat, showing that this trip should suit, but his pedigree may not suggest stamina is going to be his strong suit, but only time will tell.

He looked like a potential nice horse in the making and seems to be getting better and better with each run.

Winner last time out at Ludlow over 2m5f, looked like the step up in trip in this will suit but pedigree suggest not, stable in good form this year so he must be taken seriously. Could place in this.


Jake Russell | @JakeRuss1000