Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle Betting Tips – Expert Predictions

The Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle is a 3m Grade 1 and the last of the novices’ hurdles contested at the 2023 Cheltenham Festival. The race is the furthest of the three Grade 1 novice hurdles, and therefore a strong stayer is often needed. Check out our expert trends and selections for the big race on the final day of the Festival.

Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle Bookmaker Odds – Race 3, Friday 17th March 2:50

Three Card Brag
Horse Profile - Jockey ColoursJ: A P Heskin
T: Gordon Elliott
Corbetts Cross
Horse Profile - Jockey ColoursJ: Mark Walsh
T: Emmet Mullins
Embassy Gardens
Horse Profile - Jockey ColoursJ: Paul Townend
T: Willie Mullins
Hiddenvalley Lake
Horse Profile - Jockey ColoursJ: Rachael Blackmore
T: Henry De Bromhead
Sandor Clegane
Horse Profile - Jockey ColoursJ: Sean O’Keeffe
T: Paul Nolan
Favori De Champdou
Horse Profile - Jockey ColoursJ: Jordan Gainford
T: Gordon Elliott
Monty’s Star
Horse Profile - Jockey ColoursJ: Sean Flanagan
T: Henry De Bromhead
Dawn Rising
Horse Profile - Jockey ColoursJ: L P Dempsey
T: Joseph Patrick O’Brien
Shanbally Kid
Horse Profile - Jockey ColoursJ: Danny Mullins
T: Willie Mullins
Horse Profile - Jockey ColoursJ: Keith Donoghue
T: Gavin Cromwell
Rock My Way
Horse Profile - Jockey ColoursJ: Nick Scholfield
T: Syd Hosie
Horse Profile - Jockey ColoursJ: Sam Twiston-Davies
T: Nigel Twiston-Davies
Seabank Bistro
Horse Profile - Jockey ColoursJ: Patrick Mullins
T: Willie Mullins
Search For Glory
Horse Profile - Jockey ColoursJ: Davy Russell
T: Gordon Elliott
Stay Away Fay
Horse Profile - Jockey ColoursJ: Harry Cobden
T: Paul Nicholls
Affordale Fury
Horse Profile - Jockey ColoursJ: Sam Ewing
T: Noel Meade
Chianti Classico
Horse Profile - Jockey ColoursJ: David Bass
T: Kim Bailey
Saint Palais
Horse Profile - Jockey ColoursJ: Harry Bannister
T: Richard J Bandey
Thomas Mor
Horse Profile - Jockey ColoursJ: Adam Wedge
T: David Pipe
Idalko Bihoue
Horse Profile - Jockey ColoursJ: Jordan Nailor
T: Nigel Twiston-Davies

All About The Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle in 2023

The newest of the holy trinity of novice hurdles contested at the 2023 Cheltenham Festival (alongside the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and the Ballymore), the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle was inaugurated in 2005 and registered as the Spa Novices’ Hurdle.

When the Festival was extended to four days, the race began as a Grade 2 and for its first three runnings was sponsored by Brit Insurance, but having attracted strong fields was upgraded to Grade 1 status in 2008. Potato producer Albert Bartlett took over sponsorship duties afterwards and has maintained the partnership through the years.

This year’s renewal sees the Irish dominate the betting again, with Corbetts Cross and Embassy Gardens currently joint-favourites. The former has only tasted defeat once in his hurdles career, and was last seen winning a Grade 2 at Naas in February. Willie Mullins’ Embassy Gardens has only won once over hurdles, but he did it with ease and looks a live contender to bolster his trainers impressive recent record in the race. 

Henry De Bromhead has two potential options with good chances, with Hiddenvalley Lake and Monty’s Star. The latter got the better of his stablemate when last seen at Clonmel, but the betting suggests that form is expected to reverse here if the pair line up.

Gordon Elliott has plenty of options here, but the one with the best chance appears to be Three Card Brag, having beaten Sandor Clegane (who also is expected to go well here) on debut and ran out a comfortable ten-length winner on his last hurdles start.

With eight of the last ten winners returning at double-figure odds, it might pay to look further down the betting. One who catches the eye is Willie Mullins’ Seabank Bistro, who chased home Corbetts Cross at Limerick in December, before a cosy victory at Naas the following month. He could give his trainer a fourth win in the last seven renewals.

Willie Mullins has a fantastic recent record in the race and Embassy Gardens looks one of his best hopes this year.

The Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle is open to horses aged four or older (4yos receive 9lb from their elders), but as it is invariably such a dour test it is more often than not contested by more experienced novice hurdlers, with no 4yo winners and just two 5yo winners in its entire 17-year history.

Mares receive an allowance of 7lb, as they do with the remaining Grade 1’s when competing against the boys, yet up to now, no Mare has managed to land the race.

6yo horses have dominated in the Albert Bartlett, landing 9 of the 18 renewals, with 7yos taking six renewals and Unowhatimeanharry managing to score as an 8yo in 2016. Experience tends to come to the fore in the race, and horses that began their careers in the point sphere tend to do well.

Due to this former point experience, winners of the Albert Bartlett tend to go on to experience a staying chase career the following season, and some make up into future Gold Cup runners, with Bobs Worth (2011) and Minella Indo (2019) going on to complete the Albert Bartlett – Gold Cup double.

The race has no strong price trends, albeit favourites don’t have an overly strong record, with 2013 race winner At Fishers Cross (11/8F) the last to justify favouritism – since then there have been winners at 33/1, 50/1 and last year’s 18/1 winner The Nice Guy.

2023 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle Prize Money

Last year’s prize money accumulated to just over £137,000, with race winner The Nice Guy picking up over £78,000. 

The prize pot for the 2023 renewal is £135,000.

Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle History

The Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle was formed when the Cheltenham Festival expanded to four days in 2005.

The race is run on Cheltenham’s New Course and is contested over a distance of 3m, with twelve hurdles to be jumped.

Horses that started their careers in points have a particularly strong record, with four of the last five winners starting life in that discipline prior to their respective victories. The race has also proven a good springboard for future Festival success, with the likes of Wichita Lineman, Bobs Worth, Penhill, Minella Indo and Monkfish all going on to land races at subsequent Cheltenham Festivals.

Perhaps with the race’s tough nature it is no surprise that the most successful jockey in its history is the legendary AP McCoy, who landed three renewals in his time in the saddle. McCoy’s first victory came aboard Black Jack Ketchum in 2006, and he quickly added to that a year later with Witchita Lineman – a horse who would go on to provide McCoy with one of his most famous moments in the saddle. McCoy’s final victory in the Albert Bartlett came in 2013 when partnering race favourite At Fishers Cross.

Willie Mullins has dominated in the race lately, winning three of the last six renewals to make him the most successful trainer in the history of the race. His first victory came with Penhill in 2017, before Monkfish landed the 2020 renewal and he found glory again last year with The Nice Guy.

Interestingly, the first two of Mullins’ winners went on to land Grade 1s at the subsequent year’s Festival, with Penhill going on to land the 2018 Stayers’ Hurdle and Monkfish landing the 2021 Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase. With the vast majority of Albert Bartlett winners going on to embark on chasing careers, Penhill remains the only horse to complete the Albert Bartlett – Stayers’ Hurdle double.

Penhill remains the only horse to land the Albert Bartlett – Stayers’ Hurdle double.

Winners since 2005

2005Moulin RicheRobert ThorntonFrancois Doumen9/1 
2006Black Jack KetchumAP McCoyJonjo O’NeillEvsF
2007Wichita LinemanAP McCoyJonjo O’Neill11/8F
2008Nenuphar CollongesRobert ThorntonAlan King9/1
2009Weapon’s AmnestyDavy RussellCharles Byrnes8/1
2010Berties DreamAndrew LynchPaul John Gilligan33/1
2011Bobs WorthBarry GeraghtyNicky Henderson15/8F
2012Brindisi BreezeCampbell GilliesLucinda Russell7/1
2013At Fishers CrossAP McCoyRebecca Curtis11/8F
2014Very WoodPaul CarberryNoel Meade33/1
2015Martello TowerAdrian HeskinMargaret Mullins14/1
2016UnowhatimeanharryNoel FehilyHarry Fry11/1
2017PenhillPaul TownendWillie Mullins16/1
2018Kilbricken StormHarry CobdenColin Tizzard33/1
2019Minella IndoRachael BlackmoreHenry De Bromhead50/1
2020MonkfishPaul TownendWillie Mullins5/1
2021VanillierMark WalshGavin Cromwell14/1
2022The Nice GuySean O’KeeffeWillie Mullins18/1

Cheltenham Festival Racing Schedule

1:30The JCB Triumph HurdleRead Tip
2:10County Handicap HurdleRead Tip
2:50Albert Bartlett  Novices’ HurdleRead Tip
3:30Cheltenham Gold CupRead Tip
4:10Hunters’ Steeple ChaseRead Tip
4:50Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ ChaseRead Tip
5:30Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap HurdleRead Tip