Tanya Stevenson's Ante-Post Previews February 28th

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Tanya Stevenson's Ante-Post Previews February 28th

One potato, two potato, three potato, four, apparently having scoured the internet this is no longer children’s favourite counting rhyme, yet when thinking of this latest ante post piece it was the first thing that came to mind. 

Every time when opening ‘X’ formerly Twitter there is the question of Ballyburn where? 

When the Grand National weights came out Galvin was one of the names mentioned as being a first choice and is being well-supported with betting sites.

But I haven’t seen anywhere of late that has made the connection between the pair. 

It might be because they have different trainers, or could it be the horses are on different trajectories of their career path. 

If I then throw in Banbridge as a further clue and part of a realistic treble for Cheltenham coming up, have you got it yet?

They are all owned by Ronnie Bartlett, head of the biggest potato supplier in the UK, Albert Bartlett. 

He will go into Cheltenham with a possible four runners, Stattler included, and could very well come out with three winners and then he could go on and win the Grand National if Galvin’s effort in the Boyne Hurdle is to be believed.

Ballyburn is owned jointly by Ronnie Bartlett and David Manasseh but for now, has been seen in the distinctive dark blue and white diamond colours with white sleeves and a red cap. 

Everyone has been on tenterhooks to see whether he heads to the Supreme or Baring Bingham. 


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Until the decision is made every Festival preview will come with the caveat for those two races, it depends on where Ballyburn goes

His performance at the Dublin Racing Festival was so monstrous that he seems to be etched in racing folklore already. 

He sauntered to victory after jumping the last, and he is part of the mighty Willie Mullins battalion.

Stattler is also trained by Mullins and has an entry in the Cross Country, he bagged his Festival win back in 2022 in the NH Challenge Cup, which was the last time he won and it will be interesting to see if he takes his chance. 

Galvin won the NH Challenge Cup the year before in 2021 and last year ran a blinder behind stable companion Delta Work in the Cross Country before unceremoniously unseating Davy Russell at the first in the Grand National. 

This year he has had two looks at the Cross Country in November and December conceding lots of weight. 

Then a 58-day break before the brilliant run in the Grade 2 Boyne Hurdle at Navan, he was only five lengths behind and running on over a discipline that he wasn’t entitled to get so close. 

His effort was not missed and when the Grand National weights came out and he was allotted 10-12 I was clapping my hands.

Gordon Elliott’s strike rate for Ronnie Bartlett is an enviable 16 from 43 but that isn’t the best, I will get on to that shortly. 

Ronnie Bartlett has had nine winners from 43 runners at Cheltenham which includes the Festival.

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On to Banbridge who has been virtually overlooked in all the Festival chatter, he is trained by Joseph O’Brien who has trained four winners from just five runners in GB for Ronnie Bartlett, yes 80% and overall it is 11 from 21. 

Banbridge has campaigned superbly, he too is also a Festival winner, he won the 2022 Martin Pipe Conditional Hurdle race. 

Last April he won the Grade 1 Manifesto Novices Chase at Aintree. 

He hadn’t run since then when popping up at Kempton 278 days later for the Grade 2 Silviniaco Conti Chase. 

He won that competently and effectively beating none other than Pic D’Orhy, Janidil, and Edwardstone. 

Janidil hasn’t run since but the other two have and just let that resonate with how impressive both Pic D’Orhy and Edwardstone have been. 

They have received all the plaudits and in some respects rightly so, but nowhere have they pressed rewind and see who beat them. 

Banbridge could be a ludicrous price for the Ryanair Chase. He has won both his races at Cheltenham and JJ Slevin has ridden him 11 times to seven wins. 

At the time Banbridge won at Kempton Joseph O’Brien was out of form so Banbridge is bound to improve lengths and lengths. 

Plus, he has only had six races over fences and won four. What a treble he could have then. Ballyburn, Galvin and Banbridge.

Then after Cheltenham, all the three could head to Aintree and win, with Galvin having the biggest of engagements. 

Gordon Elliott will be looking for his fourth Grand National and will have up to 10 runners in the race. 

I must admit when I saw Galvin in the Boyne Hurdle I immediately thought what a brilliant Grand National trial run, didn’t think about Cheltenham but as Tiger Roll showed the Cross Country has been perfect to launch into the big spruce fences. 

It was 2014 when the last horse over nine won the race. Galvin has been campaigned with the Grand National in mind and was even mentioned alongside Chemical Energy as the trainer’s pick for the big race.

It’s all very exciting as we draw closer to the two big meetings but I will be looking to that treble at Cheltenham and Galvin for the Grand National.