• Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle (The Spa)

    12 of the 17 had been 1st or 2nd last time out in Graded Class

    Only Monkfish of the 17 hadn't been placed in a Graded hurdle

    Seven winners of the G2 late January 2m 5f course trial have run. 3 won, two placed

    14 of the last 16 were six or seven years of age

    Nine of last 11 had placed hurdle form over at least 2m 7f.

    Nine of last 11 favs no hdle placed form over at least 2m 7f. All nine beat.

    Vanillier only French Bred winner in last 13

    Irish Trained six of the last eight

    15 of the 17 top three finish last time out

    Seven of the 17 were course winners. Eight others had never been here before

    10 from the last 12 eleven already BHA rated 140+

    Minella Indo only winner with less than 3 runs over hurdles

    None of the last 14 ran in either the Cheltenham or Aintree bumpers

    No winning favourite since 2013

    Both P Nicholls and G Elliott yet to win


    Race Distance - about 3 miles. Up to 2015 all carried 11-7. Since then, 11-5.


    Going 17 years. Winner to be 6 or 7 years old. Has won hurdle race over at least 2m 4f. Irish Trained. If not Irish look at January course form. May not have already run over 3 miles. At least 3 runs over hurdles or Graded place last time out. 1st or 2nd last time out in Graded Class or ran in Challow Hurdle. p2p winner and hasn't come from the Flat unless W Mullins. Course winner if given the chance. Irish or Eng Bred. Favourite becoming due. Not beaten favourite last time unless was placed in a Graded shorter trip. Rated 140+, if rated. Didn't run in 2021 Champion Bumper.

  • Honours Board

    Year||| Form |||Winner||| Age||| OR||| SP |||Trainer |||Jockey||| Last race (No of days)

    2021 |||2120 |||Vanillier ||| 6 ||| 144|||14/1 ||| G Cromwell(IRE) ||| M Walsh ||| Unpl G1 Leop 2m 6f (41)

    2020 |||2211||| Monkfish |||6 |||152||| 5/1||| WMullins(IRE) |||P Townend |||1st Thurles Nov Hdle 2m 6f (54)

    2019 |||32 |||Minella Indo||| 6 ||| -||| 50/1||| H de Bromhead(IRE) |||R Blackmore||| 1st G3 Clonmel Nov Hdle (28)

    2018||| 3113||| Kilbricken Storm||| 7||| 143||| 33/1||| C Tizzard |||H Cobden |||3rd G1 Newbury Challow Hdle 2m 5f (77)

    2017 |||611141||| Penhill||| 6||| 143||| 16/1||| W Mullins(IRE)||| P Townend||| 1st G2 Limerick Nov Hdle (78)

    2016||| 1111 |||Unowhatimeanharry||| 8 |||152 |||11/1 |||H Fry||| N Fehily||| 1st Exeter Pertemps H'cap Hdle (33)

    2015||| 1F12 |||Martello Tower |||7 |||140 |||14/1||| M Mullins(IRE)||| A Heskin |||2nd G2 Leop Nov Hdle 2m 4f (47)

    2014 |||1253 |||Very Wood||| 5 |||137||| 33/1||| N Meade(IRE)||| P Carberry||| G2 Naas Nov Hdle 2m 4f (68)

    2013||| 1111||| At Fishers Cross |||6||| 152 |||11/8F||| R Curtis||| AP McCoy||| 1st G2 Chelt Classic Hdle 2m 4f (48)

    2012||| 2111 |||Brindisi Breeze||| 6||| 148||| 7/1||| L Russell |||C Gillies |||1st Hayd. Prestige Nov Hdle (27)

  • Evidence




    2021 - An Irish 1-3-4. Gavin Cromwell from Colin Tizzard and John McConnell. Only 6 from the 16 runners from the Emerald Isle.


    2020 - An Irish 1-2-3-5-6. W Mullins from P Nolan and Gordon Elliott. Nine from 19 runners


    2019 - An Irish 1-2-3-6. H de Bromhead from G Elliott and W Mullins. Nine from 20 runners


    99 of the total 310 runners in the 17 races have been Irish Trained (32% overall). 7 from 20 2018, 6 from 15 in 2017. Those numbers have produced eight of the last thirteen winners with Vanillier 14s, Monkfish 5/1, Minella Indo 50s, Penhill 16s Martello Tower 16s, Very Wood 33s, Berties Dream '10 Weapon's Amnesty '09. And eight seconds and seven thirds. In 2012 Boston Bob 6/5 fav just couldn't get to Brindisi Breeze. Irish trained would have produced another second if Black Harry hadn't suffered a tired fall at the last against Wichita Lineman.


    TRAINERS - W Mullins - Monkfish 2020 and Penhill 2017 from 40 runners including three short priced favourites. Ran two last year, best Stattler 7/2f in 4th. Janidil 5th 2021. Ran three in 2020 best Alloha 3rd (Ruby seemed to get caught out of his ground by Rachel on 50/1 Minella Indo as they came round the last bend. Lot closer tabs kept in 2020 RSA) Three Willie runners in 2018 best Ballyward in 4th. Ran six of the eight Irish in 2016, best Balko Des Flos in 5th. Classic Getaway, Henn See, Minella Crooner.


    P Nicholls has trained two runners up. Not recent. Pride of Dulcote 2009 and Najaf 2010. Last year Barbados Bucks 8s, 11th.


    G Elliott has been hitting the crossbar recently. Going back, 2020 Fury Road 3rd, Commander of Fleet 2nd, Fagan in 2016 a 33/1 2nd and No More Heroes 3rd in 2015. Fakiera and Torygraph both at short odds, disappointed last year for Cullentra. Ginto, Gerri Colombe, Mr Fred Rogers.


    DUBLIN RACING FESTIVAL - Nathaniel Lacey Solicitors G1 at the Dublin Racing Festival was a G2 2m 4f. Now upgraded to a 2m 6f G1 novice. The race has produced Vanillier, Martello Tower, Liskennett (2nd), Weapons Amnesty and Boston Bob. Last year the 3rd, 4th and 10th came here. Finished 4th, 10th and 1st respectively. 2020 Latest Exhibition 1st Fury Road 4th at Leopardstown, finished 2nd and 3rd here. Monkfish had won the OGrady Memorial in Thurles. 2018 Tower Bridge won in Dublin, finished 5th here.


    The G3 Mercedes-Benz run at Clonmel in 2019 featured Alloha beating Minella Indo. Places reversed here. A race won in previous years by Chris's Dream, Monalee, Roi Des Francs and, Don Poli. The race in 2020 was moved to Punchestown and then Navan last year. Neither winner turned up here. Run Wild Fred nor Frontal Assault.


    Last year Vanillier had finished 2nd to Farouk D'Alene in that G2 Limerick late Decmber bog. 2017 Penhill strolled home at Limerick. A good ground stayer on the Flat. (Delta Work came from this race in 2018 to win the Pertemps Final) Derrinross unplaced 2019. Fury Road was the winner in LImerick before finishing 3rd here. Eric Bloodaxe bt Freedom To Dream.


    Unowhatimeanharry threw in winning an Exeter Pertemps Qualifier after a Cheltenham G2 before coming here.Berties Dream finished 4th in the Boyne Hurdle before winning this. He was a trier.


    Before the recent Irish trained takeover, the 2m 4f plus Graded races at Cheltenham earlier in the season have produced winners in this.

    2010 - Berties Dream had been 3rd to Tell Massini in November G2. Restless Harry who fell at the last here, had previously won G2 in January.
    2011 - Mossley in 2nd had won the 3 mile December Novice. In the G2 in January 2011, Bobs Worth beat Rock On Ruby who was subsequently touched off in Ballymore by First Lieutenant.
    2013 - In January, At Fishers Cross beat The New One. Fishers then won this.

    2016 - Unowhatimeanharry won Albert Bartlett Trial in December. Shantou Village won 2m 5f Neptune Trial, started 7/2 fav here PU. Champers on Ice, 3rd here, had finished 2nd to Shantou Village.

    2017 - 1-2 Irish Trained. Wholestone in 3rd had won both of the two previous course novices.

    2018 - Kilbricken Storm won the 3m G2 December Novice, OK Corral in 2nd, had never been here before. Santini in 3rd, had beaten Black Op in the January 2m 5f novice.

    2019 - Irish 1-2-3 had never raced in the UK before this. Lisnagar Oscar in 5th had been 2nd to Rockpoint Dec 3m Rockpoint finished last. Dinons won 3m in October, PU here

    2020 - Irish 1-2-3, Thyme Hill in 4th won the course 2m 5f novice. Ramses de Teillee, Redford Road and Harry Senior, all course winners last season, all nowhere.

    2021 - Streets Of Doyen had won the 3 m hurdle at the October meeting.


    CHELTENHAM TRIALS - Blazing Khal out injured. The winners of the 2m 4f novice hurdles on course this seasons have been Comprond, Hillcrest and North Lodge. Gellino Bello 2nd to Blazing Khal off has since finished 2nd in the Lanzarote at Kempton off 138.


    Albert Bartlett trial in December. 8 winners of that have turned up in March, 5 winners. Unowhatimeanharry 2016 first since Nenuphar Collonges in 2008. Wholestone 3rd here in 2017. Redford Road 14th and last home. (The Bristol Novice Hurdle rarely looks a sexy race but has been an excellent Albert Bartlett trial, Bristol winners being 4/13 so far, finishing 3141P2FP13100. Blazing Khal inj.


    January 1st Ballymore Listed over 2m 5f went to Protektorat disappointing 10th in Coral Cup at 12/1. Hillcrest.


    January Trials Day 2m5f G2 in soft ground. North Lodge in a scrappy enough race. Harry Senior PU here. Only 7 winners of this race have lined up for the Albert Bartlett, 3 won, Santini and Wholestone both 3rd, Restless Harry fell at the last when still pitching against Berties Dream. Birchdale 2019 and Harry Senior last year PU in Albert Barlett. Abandoned 2021.


    Overall, 16 of the 17 had won or placed in a Graded Novice Hurdle (Monkfish)


    AGE - Apart from Moulin Riche and Very Wood (5 yrs), Unowhatimeanharry (8 yrs) the remaining 14 were all six or seven years of age.


    Penhill became the only winner since Moulin Riche to have run on the flat. (That man Willie Mullins again. No respect for stats). Apart from him, Monkfish, Minella Indo, 'Harry and Kilbricken Storm all came from Irish point to points. 6 from the last 9 won a p2p.


    African Gold (2nd 2013) was the first River Don winner at Doncaster late January to get involved in the finish of this. Barters Hill 4th here in 2016. 2017 N Henderson's Constantine Bay bt No Hassle Hoff in a hard race at Doncaster. Again finished a very credible fourth here. 2018 Enniscoffey Oscar well behind here. 2019 Nadaitak, 12th here. 2020 Ramses De Teillee, 2021 The Cob, both outclassed. Mahler Mission


    2012 Brindisi Breeze hadn't run at Cheltenham before but came from the G2 Albert Bartlett race at Haydock in mid-February. 2017 The Worlds End won at Haydock then fell here 'upsides' two out. Chef Des Obeaux PU 2018, Lisnagar Oscar 5th 2019, a good winner of Haydock Albert Bartlett Trial. Last year Alaphilippe won by 14l at Haydock, finished 5th here. Hillcrest grinded them down.


    TRIP - 14 from the 16 had won a hurdle race over 2m 4f or further (Monkfish, twice, Kilbricken over 3 miles 'Harry and Martello Tower had each won twice over 3 miles, Not Minella Indo, a maiden over hurdles had won a p2p at Dromahane, (left handed, stiff climb to finish), not Very Wood. He had won a 4 yr old 3m Oldcastle P2P (left handed, stiff climb to finish) Had finished 3l 3rd in 2m 4f Naas G2. Moulin Riche 2nd in his Haydock race had won over 2m 4f in France.


    2 MILES 7 FURLONGS - Identified by Sam Walker in the Racing Post. Eight of the last 11 winners won or placed over hurdles at a trip of 2m 7 furlongs or more. Exceptions Vanillier, Bobs Worth 2011 and Very Wood 2014. FWIW the latter two both won on Cheltenham good ground. A nice addition is that nine of the last 11 favourites had no win or placed form over the 2m 7 furlong marker. All nine beaten. Exceptions Black Hercules in 2015 and At Fishers Cross 2013. At Fishers Cross the only fav in ten to win with previous placed hurdle form over 2m 7f. He won the 3m course novice in December.


    10 of the 17 had 3 or 4 runs over hurdles. Indo only two, second to Alloha in a 3m Clonmel G3. 'Harry and Berties had 14, Moulin 8 all three second season novices, Martello Tower and At Fishers Cross, both 6 hurdle runs, Penhill had seven. The latter had been on the go since May, possibly originally seen by Wilie as a summer hurdler. Ruby Walsh on The Road To Cheltenham of the opinion that 'as the calibre of horse rises, that need for experience may be dropping.'


    Minella Indo 2019 put the stat to bed that all 36 horses that had contested less than three hurdle races had been beaten. Birchdale, Dickie Diver had also only two runs. Alloha had one hurdle run in France before coming to Ireland. Two qualifiers in 2018, Santini (fav) and Ballyward. No qualifiers last two year. All runners had raced at least on three occasions


    Moulin Riche had won at Listed level in France, 10 others had won a Graded hurdle, Vanillier, Indo, Berties Dream and Very Wood just placed. Monkfish's last win was to sluice home in a Thurles 2m 6f novice.


    12 of the 17 were 1st or 2nd last time out in Graded class (Not Vanillier, Monkfish, Kilbricken 3rd of six in a Challow Newbury bog, Very Wood 3rd, Berties had been 4th).


    10of the last 12 were officially BHA rated 140+. Indo had only run twice so had no official rating.


    7 were course winners, Berties placed. Vanillier, Monkfish, Minella Indo, Penhill, Martello Tower, Very Wood, Brindisi and Weapon's Amnesty had never been here before. Moulin Riche beaten both in Triumph and in a Chelt 2m 4f novice earlier that season.

    Black Jack Ketchum only unbeaten horse to win this. 'Harry, Bobs Worth and At Fishers Cross were unbeaten that season.


    Jonjo O'Neill has only ever run two in this. Both won. Last one in 2007.


    Only Wichita Lineman '07 ran in the Champion Bumper or G2 at Aintree. Vanillier straight from p2p to hurdles. Ask A Honey Bee stuffed in both. No Aintree bumper due to COVID


    6 of the 17 had raced around Cheltenham as least twice. 11 hadn't.


    The last three started hurdles career over a distance in excess of 2m. The previous five didn't. 9 from the 17 started their hurdling career over no more than 2 miles. Not sure if that proves anything.


    38 from the 49 win and placed so far were all 1st or 2nd last time out. None of the three last year! Won't be much of a discriminator.


    Only 32 from 49 win and placed had already raced over 3 miles hurdle races. Vanillier, Monkfish and Fury Road had run over 2m 7f, Latest Exhibition 2m 6f. 1st and 3rd in 2019 had run in that Clonmel 3m G3. In 2018 Just the winner. The Kilbricken Storm 1-2-3 in 2017 and 1-2 in 2016 had raced over 3m. Placed horses in 2015 had only run over 2m 6f. In 2014 none of the first three and the front runners in that race were picked off by Very Wood. Both At Fishers and Brindisi had raced over 3 miles, previous two winners hadn't.

    BREEDING - Both Penhill and 'Harry ENG bred. Vaniillier, Nenuphar and Moulin were FRE, the other 12 were Irish bred.


    SHORT PRICED FAVOURITES - Santini 11/4, Death Duty 13/8, Black Hercules, Briar Hill '14, Boston Bob and Brewster in '05 favourites under 3/1 and beaten. In the last two years both Thyme Hill and Commander Of Fleet were the 4/1 jolly and ran well. 2016 PU fav was Shantou Village at 7/2. Four other favourites under 3/1 have won (including Bobs Worth and Black Jack Ketchum). But also Minella Indo at 50/1, two 33/1 shots and a 14/1 winner in 2016. 'Harry returned 11s. As well as Briar Hill 2/1fav in 2014, Kings Palace was also backed from 4s to 5/2 second fav. Money staying in the satchels.

    33 last time beaten favourites have ran. One winner, Weapons Amnesty at 9/1. Four over the last two years, best Fury Road 3rd.







    BLINKERS - Very Wood 2014 won in first time cheekpieces with a masterful Paul Carberry ride. Also Nenuphar Collonges 2008 from a total of 26 qualifiers in total. Nenuphar always wore blinkers and won this off a rating 134, in the first year as a G1. Seven rogues last year, best Streets Of Doyen 3rd 2020 one no hoper, four ran in 2019, best finisher First Approach in 11th. Paisley Park unplaced 2018 in a first-time visor which he didn't take to.


    Penhill the only winner of this to return and win any Festival hurdle. Paisley Park first horse to get beat in this and return to win a Festival race. As a novice chaser Wichita Lineman was carried home by AP to win the JLT 3 mile h'cap Chase. Unlikely to see the like of AP again.


    Horses beaten in the Albert Bartlett to return and win at the Festival? It would have been hard to pick out Lisnagar Oscar. Santini came close. To follow Paisley Park. Thanks to Rory Delargy for pointing out to me this list of subsequent Festival winners to have suffered the same fate. Chief Dan George, Bostons Angel, Oscar Park, Cape Tribulation, Teaforthree, The Druids Nephew, O'Faolins Boy, Black Hercules, Blaklion, Native River, Balko Des Flos. Also throw in other NH big guns such as Carruthers and Elegant Escape, Chris's Dream. Stattler, Alaphilippe, Pats Fancy?