Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle Tips and Betting Offers – 16 March 2018

Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle Preview: Tips, Betting Offers and Odds, 2.50 at Cheltenham, 16 March 2018, Cheltenham Festival Day Four

One of three Grade 1 contests on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival is the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle. Here we provide our betting tips and highlight some of the best odds and offers surrounding this race.

First run in 2005, this £118,000+ Grade 1 Novices’ Hurdle sees the top staying novices battle it out over three miles and 12 fences of the New Course at Cheltenham.

Betting Tips

    • Calett Mad to win at 16/1 with Coral
    • Poetic Rhythm each-way at 12/1 with BetVictor

Also be sure to check out our Gold Cup tips and JCB Triumph offers for the last day of the Festival.


Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle Betting Offers

WILLIAM HILL BET £10, GET £30 IN FREE BETS – New William Hill online customers only. Min. unit stake of £10/€10 at odds of 1/2 or greater. Only the “win” part from EW bets will count. Free bet terms, payment method & country restrictions apply. Free bets credited as 3 x £10/€10. Free bet stakes are not returned as part of the settlement of successful free bets. All Free Bets must be wagered within 30 days.

LADBROKES £50 FREE BET OFFER – 18+. New customers only. Promo code ‘F50’ required. Certain deposit methods excluded. Min £/€5 on win or each-way bet excluding Tote or pools = match max £/€50 free bet. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Bet must be made within 14 days. Free bet valid for 4 days. Free bet stake not returned. Single bets only. Free bet cannot be used on certain markets. T&Cs apply.

CORAL BET £5, GET £20 IN FREE BETS OFFER – 18+. UK+IRE only. Min first bet £5 at odds 1/2 or more. Tote and Pool excluded. Must be placed within 14 days of account reg. £20 credited as 4 x £5 free bets. Not valid with Cash Out. Free bet valid for 4 days. Free bet stake not returned. T&Cs apply.

  • More Albert Bartlett betting offers, enhanced odds and other promos will be here soon, but check out the latest Cheltenham racing offers to see what the bookies have lined up in the way of promotions for this fantastic Festival.

Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle Tips and 2018 Race Preview

As with the other Grade 1 novice races at the Cheltenham Festival, the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle offers punters clues for the future as much as a chance to win some profit in the present. Although it’s one of the newer races that were added when the Festival became a four day meeting, the Albert Bartlett has already been won by a future Gold Cup winner in Bobs Worth and punters will be on the lookout for future stars on Friday afternoon.

Grit Required to Win Over Three Miles

The nature of novice hurdling means that even the very best in the division are liable to a mistake or two. It’s all about gaining experience over obstacles and against quality opposition so it’s no surprise that many of the novices at Cheltenham have plenty of room for improvement.

While that remains the case with the Albert Bartlett the main difference is the distance of the race. Three miles is a big ask – especially at Grade 1 level – so it will take a certain amount of heart and experience to win Friday’s contest.

It’s for that reason that people are shunning the favourite, Santini. The six-year-old may have a big future ahead of him but with just two prior appearances it’s hard to say he has the necessary experience or ability to dig in when under pressure. Chef Des Obeaux does have more experience but it’s been a little easy for him to date whereas Calett Mad (16/1 with Coral) has had to fight for pretty much everything he’s achieved so far.

The six-year-old already had considerable chasing experience before Nigel Twiston-Davies decided to try him out over the smaller obstacles this season. The early results have been mixed but everything seemed to click for Calett Mad last time out at Musselburgh. He won over three miles, two furlongs on soft ground that day and it’s that stamina and heart which could set him apart from the rest at Cheltenham.

Poetic Rhythm Another with the Required Experience

If you’re looking for a couple of options with which to oppose the favourite, try an each way bet on Poetic Rhythm at 12/1 with BetVictor. The seven-year-old has more experience over hurdles than most and while you couldn’t call him prolific there’s every chance that’s just left him longer in the betting than he deserves to be.

With concerns about the ground remaining soft throughout the Festival you certainly want horses who will stay the Albert Bartlett trip and there are few concerns in that regard with Poetic Rhythm.

A Strong Finish Will Separate This Field

The rain that fell before the start of Cheltenham and the inevitability of ground cutting up during the Festival means the Albert Bartlett should be even more demanding than usual. That makes it all the more important to favour horses who can dig in and have proven stamina reserves. Poetic Rhythm and, to an ever greater extent, Calett Mad have those attributes in spades making them the standout options.

Previous Winners

  • 2017 – Penhill – jockey Paul Townend, trainer Willie Mullins
  • 2016 – Unowhatimeanharry – jockey Noel Fehily, trainer Harry Fry
  • 2015 – Martello Tower – jockey Adrian Heskin, trainer Margaret Mullins
  • 2014 – Very Wood – jockey Paul Carberry, trainer Noel Meade
  • 2013 – At Fishers Cross – jockey Tony McCoy, trainer Rebecca Curtis
  • 2012 – Brindisi Breeze – jockey Campbell Gillies, trainer Lucinda Russell
  • 2011 – Bobs Worth – jockey Barry Geraghty, trainer Nicky Henderson
  • 2010 – Berties Dream – jockey Andrew Lynch, trainer John Paul Gilligan
  • 2009 – Weapon’s Amnesty – jockey Davy Russell, trainer Charles Byrnes
  • 2008 – Nenuphar Collonges – jockey Robert Thornton, trainer Alan King
  • 2007 – Wichita Lineman – jockey Tony McCoy, trainer Jonjo O’Neill
  • 2006 – Black Jack Ketchum – jockey Tony McCoy, trainer Jonjo O’Neill

Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle History

Officially registered as the Spa Novices’ Hurdle this race was part of the 2005 expansion of the Cheltenham Festival. This three mile contest was included amongst the extra races that enabled a fourth day to be added, in order to provide a festival target for the high class staying novice hurdlers. Current sponsors Albert Bartlett took over from Brit Insurance in 2008, the year in which the race was also first granted Grade 1 status.

Despite being one of the newest races at the festival this event has already provided us with high class winners, thrilling finishes and more.

A number of the early winners of this contest have gone on to further success at future Cheltenham Festival’s. Charles Byrnes 2009 winner, Weapon’s Amnesty, went on to win the RSA Chase in 2010. This feat was repeated by Bobs Worth who won this race in 2011 and the RSA Chase in 2012. Nicky Henderson’s battler wasn’t finished yet though as he stormed up the Cheltenham hill once again to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2013.

Tony McCoy enjoyed a fruitful time of things in this event, winning it three times in total. His second win came aboard a horse with whom he will forever be associated. Often cited as the ride which best typified McCoy’s strength and never say die attitude is that aboard Wichita Lineman in the 2009 William Hill Trophy at this track. He didn’t need those attributes to such an extent here in 2007 however as Wichita Lineman posted a commanding 12 length success. The now retired McCoy tops the jockeys table for this race.

Most successful amongst the training ranks is McCoy’s frequent partner in crime, Jonjo O’Neill. Jonjo saddled Black Jack Ketchum in 2006 and provided McCoy with the ride aboard Wichita Lineman a year later. As of 2015 O’Neill is the only trainer to have won the race more than once.

The history of this race also contains a tale of real tragedy. The 2012 victory of Brindisi Breeze marked a career highlight for both the horse and his jockey Campbell Gillies. In the space of just four months neither Brindisi Breeze nor Campbell Gillies would be with us any longer. Around two months after his Cheltenham heroics, Brindisi Breeze escaped from his paddock in the middle of the night and was instantly killed when hit on a nearby road. Six weeks later Campbell Gillies drowned in a swimming pool whilst holidaying in Corfu, two days before his 22nd Birthday. We will never know the heights to which this talented duo may have ascended in what is a truly heart-breaking tale.