Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle Tips: Hillcrest to reach the peak

Hillcrest

The appetiser for the showpiece of the week, the Cheltenham Gold Cup, comes in the shape of the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle at 2:50pm. Often a race in which we see future Gold Cup contenders stake their claims (think Bobs Worth and Minella Indo) this year we could see the same again with two in particular heading the market who look destined to make strapping staying chasers in time. Billy Grimshaw likes the chances of one to continue his progress and claim Cheltenham glory...

The shape of this race and indeed the market for it took a shift last week when ante-post favourite Minella Crooner was ruled out for the Gordon Elliott stable due to a pulled muscle. He had been well fancied to reverse placings with his conqueror at the Dublin Racing Festival Minella Cocooner, and indeed many believe that the Leopardstown winner would've been more suited to the shorter test of the Ballymore. Willie Mullins doesn't often get his targets wrong however (see Sir Gerhard's demolition in the Ballymore earlier this week) and trusting the master of Closutton means despite his free going style not necessarily lending itself to this race, Minella Cocooner is not to be dismissed lightly. Mullins is mob-handed and The Nice Guy is his next representative in the market, but further down the list his Ramilles makes most appeal to my eye. He was well regarded last season yet finished down the field in the Champion Bumper, but everything about his run style screams he will love this trip and test a year or so on. 

Unlike many of the races at the Festival this week, the market is not dominated solely by Irish raiders. One of the most interesting challengers crossing the Irish Sea is undoubtedly Falcon Eight for Dermot Weld, a high class performer on the flat who reached a lofty 111 rating at his peak. He has taken his time to get used to hurdling but his stamina is without question after his strong staying performances on the level throughout his career and he could have the toe needed to streak away should he be in the mix coming toward the closing stages.

Cheltenham Gold Cup

Moving onto the market leaders, it has been topsy turvy between Ginto and Hillcrest for some time now. Starting with the Elliott representative, Ginto was only confirmed for this race at a fairly late stage due to the injury to stablemate Minella Crooner. He has been a tremendous novice hurdler and looked sensational in demolishing Eric Bloodaxe, who re-opposes here but is an outsider, at Navan back in December. He further enhanced his form in the Grade One Lawler's of Naas in January, beating Grand Jury by four and a half lengths and although that runner did nothing for the form at the Dublin Racing Festival, the visual impression created marked Ginto out as destined for the top.

His market rival Hillcrest is, as has been well documented, an absolute behemoth of a horse. Described by many as the biggest racehorse they've seen, he has always been destined to be a stayer. He would be unbeaten since his debut in a bumper were he not to have been wiped out on his penultimate start at Cheltenham, but before that he won well at the track in the listed Ballymore trial. The sheer size of this horse for Henry Daly means he is destined for fences but before that this test of stamina and relentless galloping looks ideal for him, particularly on the evidence of his last run. He was monstrous in breaking the heart of the re-opposing Green Book on heavy ground at Haydock and his finishing splits indicate he was not stopping. His trainer seemed cautious afterwards about his participation in this race due to the potential for Haydock to have bottomed him out, but connections have given glowing post race reports and his confirmation here must mean he is raring to go. This looks every inch a future Gold Cup winner and I expect him to confirm himself as the leading staying novice of the season with victory over Ginto and the rest of the field here.

2022 Albert Bartlett
Hillcrest silk

Hillcrest

Pulled Up
Cheltenham Tips
Advert Disclaimer
Horseracing.net is a free online resource which endeavour to provide helpful and useful content and odds comparison to its visitors. Please be advised that Horseracing.net accepts affiliate commission from the companies appearing on the site, and agreed commission levels impact the location and order in which the companies (and/or their products) are presented on the website. Any ratings that appear on this site is determined by our subjective opinion of the brand but also based on market share and reputation, each brand's conversion rates, commission paid to us and general consumer interest. Company listings on this page don't imply our endorsement. We do not feature all providers on the market. Except as expressly set forth in our terms and conditions, all statements and warranties regarding the information presented on this page are disclaimed. The information, including odds, which appear on this site is subject to change at any time.

Deposit £10 Get £30 Free Bets (APP Only)

#AD New UK, IE & Malta users only. Min. £10/€10 first deposit only using Debit Card or Trustly. Free bets expire in 90 days. T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £30 In Free Bets
#AD 18+. Play Safe. New customers using Promo code H30 only, Min £10/€10 stake,  min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15, free bets credited after  settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after  the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply.
Welcome Offer
#AD Bet £10 & Get £50 in Free Bets for new customers at bet365. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
Bet £20 & Get It Back As CASH If It Loses
#AD New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any Horse Racing market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using cards will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £60 in Bonuses
#AD New UK customers only. Register using the promo code BETFRED60, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+) within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £20 in Free Bets to be used on Sports, £10 in Free Bets to be used on Lotto and 50 Free Spins (20p per spin) credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. Further £20 in Free Bets credited 5 days after settlement. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply.
Money Back As Cash Up To £20
#AD Max £20 refund on first bet. Bet must be placed in first 7 days of account opening. Only deposits made via Debit Card will be eligible for the promotion. T&Cs apply. 18+ begambleaware.org
Bet £10 Get £20 In Free Bets
#AD Min stake £10. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). First bet only. Free bets expire in 7 days. Cashed out bets won’t apply. Payment method restrictions. Online UK customers only. 30 days to qualify for £20 in Free Bets. 18+. T&Cs apply
Bet £10 Get £30 Free Bets + £10 Casino Bonus
#AD Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager bonus amount x40 within 14 days • Wagering req. vary by game • Withdrawal restrictions and Full T&C’s apply. 18+ begambleaware.org
Get £36 In Free Bets
#AD Offer includes a free £1 Race Index spread bet to try out our exciting 50-25-10 race markets. Bet with live streaming on all racing and greyhounds! Place a qualifying £25 fixed odds bet at odds of 1/2 or greater. Qualifying bet cannot be placed in-play or cashed out early. A first free £5 fixed odds bet will be credited upon settlement of the qualifying bet. 4 x following £5 free fixed odds bets will be added to your account on consecutive days. BeGambleAware.org. 18+. T&Cs apply
£25 Free Bet + 10 Free Spins
If your account has Sportsbook losses at the end of your first day's betting, QuinnBet will refund 50% of your losses as a Free Bet up to £25 (min 3 bets) Plus 10 Free Spins on Asgard Warriors. Even if your account is up, you're guaranteed a £5 Free Bet Plus 10 Free Spins provided you place at least 1 bet of £10 or greater at the minimum odds. T&Cs apply | 18+ New UK Customers Only | BeGambleAware.org
Latest racing results
Ayr
13:35
1stGirl Magic
2ndMontelusa
3rdGeorgiava
Yarmouth
13:25
1stFranco Grasso
2ndCentral City
3rdVoi
Ayr
13:00
1stOtto Oyl
2ndDandy Maestro
3rdJust Hiss
View All Today's Results