Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle Tips: 2022 Betting Preview & Trends

Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle Tips: 2022 Betting Preview & Trends
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The Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle is the Cheltenham Festival prize that crowns the best staying novice hurdler of the season.

The 2022 edition looks wide open when you study the odds at the best horse racing betting sites. However, you can expect Irish horses to dominate Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle tips given four of the last five winners have been trained in Ireland.

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It’s a race that has been the springboard to even bigger prizes for many, not least 2019 winner Minella Indo, the reigning Gold Cup champion who we put under the spotlight in our 2022 Gold Cup tips and betting preview.

Bear in mind that some of the leading ante-post candidates for this race also hold entries for the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle and in some cases the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle Runners in Focus  

Here's an in-depth look at some of the leading contenders for the 2022 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle:

Highly-Rated Ginto Sets the Standard

Gordon Elliott has never won the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle but the two-time top Cheltenham Festival trainer will surely harbour hopes that he can snap that run with unbeaten hurdler Ginto.

Grade 1 winners are generally rare beasts in this field but Ginto joined that club when he ran out an impressive winner of the Lawlor's Of Naas Novice Hurdle at the beginning of January.

His trainer has never made any secret of the fact that long-term ambitions are focused on a chasing career. Those hopes look more realistic with each step the six-year-old takes up the novice hurdling ladder.

Ginto made his own running at Naas but Elliott is firmly of the opinion that he’ll be better suited by getting a lead and the stronger the race, the better version of Ginto we will see.

The son of Walk In The Park is proving versatile ground-wise and he sets quite a high standard at this stage. But, he is also among the favourites in Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle betting and it is not clear yet which race he will take part in.

If connections do give him the green light for this race, expect him to feature heavily among Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle betting tips in the build-up to the festival.

Minella Crooner might have been no match for Journey With Me at Leopardstown but he enjoyed the step up to three miles and duly posted an improved effort at Punchestown, thrashing a 123-rated rival by 11 lengths. He looks an out-and-out stayer that would revel in a strongly-run three-mile Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle, so shouldn’t be underestimated.

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Eric Caught Between Two Stools

Eric Bloodaxe was no match for Ginto when the pair met in a Navan Grade 2 event on December 4, but he posted an improved performance on the numbers when running away with the Lyons Of Limerick Jaguar Land Rover Novice Hurdle.

Joseph O’Brien’s decision to step him up in trip proved to be justified but this horse isn’t short of speed so he could easily go down the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle route instead. That makes him a tricky horse to assess for ante-post punters.

Stag the Best British Hope

It would be foolish to highlight too many British contenders in our Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle tips but Stag Horn cannot be underestimated.

Archie Watson is much better known for training two-year-old sprinters than staying hurdlers but Stag Horn has taken to his new vocation like a duck to water.

He was three-figure rated on the Flat (as high as 108 at one point in the summer of 2021) where he was a strong stayer and, unlike many highly-rated horses that come from the level, it’s been a seamless transition for the five-year-old.

Stag Horn ridden by Nick Scholfield

Stag Horn was allowed to set a muddling pace in the early stages of Warwick’s Grade 2 Leamington Novices’ Hurdle but the tempo lifted with over a circuit to go and he saw his race out in relentless fashion.

The way he stuck to his task strongly suggests that he’ll have no problem handling the extra three furlongs of the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle, even on a stiffer track, but he’s unlikely to get things all his own way on the front end in a race like that.

He can struggle in testing conditions and the other issue for Stag Horn is his age. Only two five-year-olds have ever won this race, which is a concern for followers of Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle trends.

Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle Odds  

RunnerFansBet Odds
Ginto11/4
Hillcrest10/3
Minella Cocooner8/1
The Nice Guy10/1
Shantreusse11/1
  • *Odds correct as of 17/03/2022 - For full latest odds head over to FansBet

Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle Trends  

  • Recent Irish bias: The overall split of Irish to British-trained winners in this race is fairly even (9-8 in favour of Ireland) but six of the last eight renewals have gone to Ireland, including the last three, and the entries for 2022 strongly suggest that trend is going to continue.
  • Age matters: Ideally, you want to be on a horse aged six or seven. Only two five-year-olds and one eight-year-old have been successful.
  • Avoid the top of the market: Seven of the last eight editions have gone the way of a horse with a double-figure SP, including a 50/1 and two 33/1 winners.
  • Track form can be useful: Nine Albert Bartlett winners had already run at Cheltenham, seven of which had won at Prestbury Park.
  • Grade 1 success not vital: Only one Albert Bartlett winner (Wichita Lineman in 2007) already had a Grade 1 win on their CV. However, graded-race form is useful given nine winners had a Grade 2 success to boast about. It’s generally about potential with a race like this as nearly every winner will post a PB on the day.
  • Point form is useful: Seven of the last 10 Albert Bartlett winners had won a point to point before switching to rules.

Recent Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle Winners  

YearWinner
2021Vanillier
2020Monkfish
2019Minella Indo
2018Kilbricken Storm
2017Penhill
2016Unowhatimeanharry
2015Martello Tower
2014Very Wood
2013At Fishers Cross
2012Brindisi Breeze

Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle Verdict  

The Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle is one of the trickiest races for ante-post punters to get involved with given so many contenders also have the option of the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle.

Either way, the winner looks extremely likely to be trained in Ireland so it’s best to focus on Irish challengers when placing your bets at the best betting sites.

Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle trends highlight the fact that a Grade 1 success in the book isn't vital and that lessens interest in Ginto, who is the betting favourite.

JOURNEY WITH ME is the one with the most potential to improve past him and that earns Henry De Bromhead’s charge the vote.

This unbeaten gelding looks a particularly strong stayer and, provided he comes through his engagement at the Dublin Racing Festival, he has to be a big player come March. Hollow Games also deserves considerable respect.

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