Cheltenham Festival Albert Bartlett Ante-Post Selections


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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

With plenty of runners set to go to post for the Grade One novice event over three miles we have taken early precautions with two strong players, both at each way prices and with Paddy Power now offering NRNB we think it is time to get our first big selections for the festival out into the open.

The first is the Willie Mullins trained Stattler who is owned by the sponsor of the contest and we all know that they would love to keep their own money.

The £59,000 purchase as a three year old started his career in January 2020 and was pitched into a bumper at Fairyhouse where he got off the mark straight away.

He was seen twice again in this sphere finishing third behind the likeable Farouk D'Alene and then second at Limerick in a minor event.

Mullins this term stepped him over hurdles and he looks to be a different prospect all together, with staying trips certainly more of what he needs then two mile events.

He was sent to Naas in November on hurdles debut and finished a good third of 20 runners, but last time out he showed his best run to date when stepped up to 2m4f.

Stattler landed a Maiden Hurdle at Leopardstown over the Christmas period, seeing off the smart Glens Of Antrim who was receiving 7lb from our horse.

The second looks to be a smart type for the same yard and it makes Stattler an even better recruit winning easily giving weight away.

It is said that this horse wants to go over further and the three miles round Cheltenham should play straight to his strengths.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
28/04/21PUN24Y11-123
19/03/21CHL24GS11-54
06/02/21LEO22Sft/Hy11-123
29/12/20LEO20Sft12-01
21/11/20NAA19Sft/Hy12-03
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

At a bigger price the Gordon Elliott trained Fakiera could have a big say on the race showing clear staying ability so far this season and looking certain to race in the event.

The Tim O'Driscoll owned runner ran three times over hurdles last season, finishing second on all three occasions behind the likes of Entoucas, Politesse and Jon Snow.

This season, he has managed to get rid of his seconditis and has found his winning mojo producing two stand out performances and another nice placed run.

Having won on seasonal debut at Fairyhouse in a maiden, the second placed horses went on to frank that with an emphatic win at Naas last time out.

Fakiera then extended his winning ways in a Grade Three Novice Hurdle at Navan last time out, beating an ultra competitive field.

What was promising about that run and what makes him interesting in this race over three miles is that he did his best work in the final stages.

He backed his credentials up last time out when sent back to Navan again this time over 2m4f and finished a good second in his best field to date behind Ashdale Bob in a Grade Two.

Again, the longer the race went on he better he became and at 20/1 he looks to have a solid each way chance on the day.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
19/03/21CHL24GS11-50
06/02/21LEO22Sft/Hy11-124
18/12/20NAV20Sft/Hy11-72
22/11/20NAV20Sft11-41
03/11/20FAI16Sft11-61

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