2021 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle Betting Tips – Fakiera Fancied for Stamina Test

Cheltenham Festival Betting Tips · Friday, 19th Mar 2021 - 14:30

Irish raider crying out for this trip

In the second of three Grade 1s on Gold Cup day the Cheltenham Festival, the 3m Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (2:30), Fakiera appeals most. Trained in Ireland, this six-year-old has shaped like a stayer throughout the campaign. Bumpers simply weren’t far enough for him last season.

Fakiera also chased home the useful Jon Snow on his hurdles debut a year ago. It has taken him some time, but he really improved for going up in trip. The Cokoriko gelding needed every yard of the 2m 4f to get up and land the Grade 3 Monksfield Novice Hurdle at Navan.

Rather than come to Cheltenham for an Albert Bartlett trial, connections kept Fakiera at home and ran him in a Grade 2. That was a mistake. He stayed on best when chasing home Ashdale Bob and was only beaten seven lengths by Ballymore fancy Gaillard Du Mesnil when up to 2m 6f at the Dublin Racing Festival.

Based on how he finished off those recent races, the extra quarter-mile here promises to suit Fakiera. This should be his forte. In an open-looking renewal of the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle, Fakiera gets the nod and can resume winning ways. He is 5/1 with Betfred to do just that.

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Stattler should be taken on

Although Stattler represents last year’s winner trainer Willie Mullins and finished in front of Fakiera at Leopardstown, he looks a false favourite to me. Ronnie Bartlett always owns very smart horses, but this one shaped like a non-stayer last time out.

Stattler made the running at the Dublin Racing Festival, but the way he folded tamely away when Gaillard Du Mesnil went past him is a concern. He also lost second close home, and Fakiera only has two lengths to find in an extra couple of furlongs.

For that reason, Stattler can and should be opposed. There are more appealing options, such as Barbados Buck’s. Trained by Paul Nicholls in the famous Big Buck’s colours, he’s three from three over the Albert Bartlett trip.

Although those victories have come in minor events, Barbados Buck’s is all about stamina. That’s what you need for this race, so an unexposed sort like him could be better value. While Stattler is 3/1 favourite, Barbados Buck’s looks better value at 6/1 with Boylesports for this contest.

Threeunderthrufive the each-way bet in Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle

Nicholls also has Threeunderthrufive engaged for the McNeill family. The six-year-old Shantou gelding has won four of his five career starts. He has seen the form of his wins at Ludlow and Musselburgh franked by the runners-up coming out and scoring next time up.

Again, the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle demands more than minor events, but Threeunderthrufive has relished going up in trip. He looks a great each-way bet in this at 14/1 with bet365, while another who could well at even bigger odds is course winner Streets Of Doyen.

He’s had a winter break and trainer John McConnell took the unusual step of running him over 2m at Naas at the end of February. That may have blown away the cobwebs for Streets Of Doyen, who looks as though he has been laid out for a tilt at this.

Torygraph was one of the ante post gambles for the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle this year. Representing Gigginstown House Stud, he’s also relished the step up in trip to 3m with wins at Fairyhouse and Thurles. Fakiera and Threeunderthrufive make the most appeal, however.

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