Stats Guide

Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle (Registered As The Spa Novices' Hurdle) (Grade 1)

14:40 Cheltenham Fri 16 March

Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle (Registered As The Spa Novices' Hurdle) (Grade 1) (Class 1)  (4YO plus)


Winner £56,950 - 20 ran


Last year’s race

Bobs Worth
  • Winner: Bobs Worth
  • Jockey: Barry Geraghty
  • Trainer: Nicky Henderson
  • Owner: The Not Afraid Partnership
  • Age: 6 Weight: 11st 7lb
  • Starting Price: 15/8
  • Season Form Figures: 111
  • Previous Best: 1st - NeptuneNovices' Hurdle, Cheltenham (Jan)

This is only the eighth running but some strong trends are already emerging, not least the importance of previous quality form at the course as six of the seven winners had run at Cheltenham before, five of which had done so on two occasions with four winning at least once.

The best course guide has been the Hyde Novices’ Hurdle run over 2m5f in November in which Fingal Bay beat Barbatos as no less than four Albert Bartlett winners took part in that contest.

Black Jack Ketchum

The Bristol Novices’ Hurdle run at Cheltenham’s December Meeting over three miles won by Deireadh Re (but Sea Of Thunder was six lengths ahead and stretching further clear when falling at the final flight) has also proven to be an informative guide. Black Jack Ketchum and Nenuphar Collonges won that Grade 2 prize en route to winning here and last year’s winner, Mossley, only found his stablemate too good in the Albert Bartlett so the record of the Bristol winner now reads an impressive 3141P2.

The Classic Novices’ Hurdle run in late-January over 2m4f ½m is the third big Albert Bartlett guide to be run at Cheltenham earlier in the season. Bobs Worth took it last season prior to winning here thus emulating the 2007 winner, Wichita Lineman.

Stamina is likely to be crucial again as this race has developed into a slog on more than one occasion so three-mile form is preferred and five of the seven winners had run over three miles beforehand.

Treat novices aged seven-years-old or over as a positive for this three-miler.

With age, in my belief, comes greater stamina so I am not surprised that it took the Albert Bartlett just six runnings to produce three winners aged 7+ whereas it has taken the last 72 combined runnings of the Supreme and Neptune to better that figure so I would go even further and actively encourage punters to take the take an opposite view to the perceived norm in novice hurdles and treat older novices (and by that I mean 7+) as a positive for this three-miler.

Other stats to take to note of are that just one winner could be found outside of the front five in the betting and the same figures apply to winners that failed to win or finish second last time out. One factor that all seven winners adhered to, however, was having run at three times over hurdles.

At a glance summary

Previous quality form at the course
Contested a race over at least three miles before
Aged seven and upwards
Outside the front five in the betting
Less than three runs over hurdles
Failed to finish first or second last time out

Previous Winners

Year Winner Trainer Jockey Age/Wt SP
2011 Bobs Worth Nicky Henderson Barry Geraghty 6 11-7 15/8f
2010 Berties Dream P J Gilligan A E Lynch 7 11-7 33/1
2009 Weapon's Amnesty C Byrnes D N Russell 6 11-7 8/1
2008 Nenuphar Collonges A King R Thornton 7 11-7 9/1
2007 Wichita Lineman J O'Neill A P McCoy 6 11-7 11/8f
2006 Black Jack Ketchum J O'Neill A P McCoy 7 11-7 Evens f
2005 Moulin Riche F Doumen R Thornton 5 11-7 9-1