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Albert Bartlett Trends for the 2024 Cheltenham Festival

Jessica Lamb for Bookies.com

Jessica Lamb  | 12 mins

Albert Bartlett Trends for the 2024 Cheltenham Festival

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2024 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle Trends

One of the many races at the Cheltenham Festival for novices, the Albert Bartlett is often a springboard on to bigger and better things. Here are all the Albert Bartlett trends you need to help narrow the field down:

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The last 10 winners:

  • Had not won a Grade 1 hurdle race before - no Grade 1 winner has ever won this race
  • Had won all outings at Cheltenham
  • Last ran at least 29 days ago, but no more than 78
  • If they ran in a handicap hurdle last time out, they won it
  • Had run at least twice times in the last 12 months - the majority had run at least three times

Nine of the last 10 winners:

  • Had won at least one hurdle race (Minella Indo was a maiden)
  • Had at least placed in a Grade 2 or Grade 3 hurdle (exception, unbeaten The Nice Guy)
  • Had won a race with a distance of at least 2m7f (The Nice Guy)
  • Finished in the first three last time out (Vanillier) - five winning
  • Had won on a course described as galloping (Minella Indo was a maiden)
  • Were aged six or older (five-year-old Very Wood)

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Key Trials in the last 10 years

The Grade 2 Classic Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham has not proven a useful trial in the last 10 years, despite it's obvious appeal. No runners have gone on to win the Albert Bartlett.

The Grade 2 Prestige Novices' Hurdle has not produced a winner or placed finisher in the last 10 years, despite eight of the last nine winners going on to run in the Albert Bartlett. None finished better than fifth. Now Is The Hour won in 2024.

Traditionally, the 2m4f Grade 2 at Leopardstown was a good trial, but that has been replaced by a 2m6f Grade 1. So far this race has produced two seconds and one winner in Vanillier. The 2023 edition was won by Cool Land, who did not run, but the third Sandor Clegane did and finished third again. The 2024 winner was Dancing City.

The winner of the Albert Bartlett tends to not have much Graded race experience, and often comes into the race having just run in an ungraded event. It's not a negative.

Trainer Trends

  • Gordon Elliott is due a change of fortune in this race having had four well-fancied horses hitting the frame in recent years. No doubt he will break his duck soon.
  • Willie Mullins bagged his third Albert Bartlett with The Nice Guy in 2022 and has now won half of the last four renewals, but he has fired an awful lot of darts at this race in the past decade.
  • Nicky Henderson has struck once, as has Paul Nicholls, Colin Tizzard and Harry Fry in recent years, but Irish trainers have been the ones to follow since 2014, winning seven of the last 10 editions.
  • Colin Tizzard is perhaps the best trainer to follow, he's 1/10, with two placed horses too, but if you had bet £1 on all his runners, you'd now be up £23.

Jockey Trends

  • Paul Townend and Harry Cobden are the only current jockeys to have won the Albert Bartlett more than once.

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How did the trends do last year?

Stay Away Fay was not an obvious winner on trends, given he had only won over 3m in a point-to-point and had only run twice in the last 12 months. Trends show most winners have more experience, and have generally won over hurdles over a distance of at least 2m7f. It was not a negative that he was beaten last time out, and finishing second in a Grade 2 was also positive.

Interestingly, none of the first three finishers had won last time out, but they had all last ran in Grade 2 or Grade 1 hurdle races.

Who Fits The Trends Best In 2024?

The two horses that the trends fit best are unbeaten Willie Mullins contender High Class Hero and Clonmel Grade 3 winner Search For Glory, but the Grade 2-placed Welcom To Cartries, seeing to give Paul Nicholls back-to-back does also tick plenty of boxes and has some appeal.

This first two named fit all the key trends, having won races over a distance of at least 2m7f, finished in the first three last time out and run at least three times in the last 12 months.

They've shown they can stay, have experience and have recent form, but are also coming into the race with enough of a break to take on the stamina test.

A slight negative for High Class Hero is that he has not run in any Graded hurdle, but he is unbeaten, and the last Albert Bartlett winner to come into the race with that form was also unbeaten. 

The negative for Welcom To Cartries is that he has not won over further than 2m5.5f. But he did finish second in a Grade 2 over 3m,

2023 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle Result

Position Name Price Trainer Jockey
1st Stay Away Fay 18/1 Paul Nicholls Harry Cobden
2nd Affordale Fury 150/1 Noel Meade Sam Ewing
3rd Sandor Clegane Paul Nolan Sean O'Keeffe

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About the Author

Jessica Lamb is a multi-media journalist who specializes in horse racing, cycling and sports betting and has worked on desks at the Racing Post and Irish Sun newspapers.