Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle Tips and Betting Offers

Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle Preview: Tips, Betting Offers and Odds

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.

Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle Tips and 2020 Race Preview

There’s another very difficult race to follow on from the the Triumph Hurdle with the unpredictable Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle. Only horses who have what it takes to dig incredibly deep on the New Course (the slower of the courses used at Cheltenham) and there are several who fit the bill in the betting.

The experienced Ramses De Teillee is one of those who what it takes to secure victory in this difficult contest. He has performed very well in some quality long distance hurdles already this season and is ready to take the step up to Grade 1 company. Aione is another who many have what it takes to compete against this standard of opponents after some decent performances and looks a solid each way play.

Previous Winners

  • 2019 – Minella Indo – jockey Rachael Blackmore, trainer Henry de Bromhead
  • 2018 – Kilbricken Storm – jockey Harry Cobden, trainer Colin Tizzard
  • 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 Trends

Trainers were very happy when the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle was introduced to Cheltenham in 2005 as it gave their long distance prospects a chance to shine.
In its relatively short history the Grade 1 race has produced staying stars over hurdles and fences so it’s unsurprising that so many recent winners had already proved their stamina win wins over 3m before.

In terms of incoming form every winner of the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle up to 2018 had competed over at least 2m4f last time out. Those 14 winners also placed no worse than fourth in their most recent performance with around half winning.

Trainers Share the Spoils

Although many trainers view the Albert Bartlett as a very important step along the road to greater success for some of their leading horses it’s not a race which any one particular trainer has been able to dominate. In fact, Jono O’Neill was the only trainer with multiple wins in the first 14 editions. Tony McCoy (three wins) and Robert Thornton (two wins) were the only jockeys to win multiple times in that same period.

Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle winners such as Penhill, Wichita Lineman and 2013 Gold Cup winner, Bobs Worth, all went on to have further Cheltenham Festival success but the qualities of all winners is not immediately clear. Bobs Worth and Wichita Lineman were rare winning favourites in a race which has produced three winners at 33/1.

There are many trials for punters to keep an eye on. The race of the same name at Cheltenham in December, the Challow Novices’ Hurdle at Newbury and the Prestige Novices’ Hurdle at Haydock are especially worthy of closer inspection.

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.