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Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle tips - Runners and odds for the big Cheltenham Festival test

Jon Wilde in Fri. 17th March 12 Mar 2015
Blaklion, ridden by Jamie Moore, clears the final hurdle to win the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham on December 13 2014 (credit: Cheltenhampro.com)

Blaklion looks a rock-solid each-way proposition in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival on Friday for trainer/son combination Nigel and Sam Twiston-Davies.

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Sam is enjoying an excellent Festival having won the Queen Mother Champion Chase and the Coral Cup on Wednesday aboard Paul Nicholls-trained duo Dodging Bullets and Aux Ptits Soins respectively, and now he has a further chance of glory riding for his father who is based close to the racecourse at Naunton.

Although the Irish have brought over a strong team for this staying test headed by Black Hercules and No More Heroes, the English defence looks strong and Blaklion is fancied to overturn Doncaster form in January with Caracci Apache (both runners 14/1 with BetVictor).

The latter has won his last three starts but comes into this race with no experience of Cheltenham and had only a head to spare over Blaklion when they met on Town Moor.

The selection, meanwhile, won a Grade 2 trial for this race over course and distance in December and there was nothing wrong with his close third place behind Parlour Games in the Challow Hurdle at Newbury, the winner having run very well in the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle on Wednesday.


Blaklion's trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies (Getty Images)

In addition, if Cheltenham continues to miss the rain, Blaklion will be potentially less inconvenienced than some of his rivals for he goes well on good ground whereas others look to need the mud to be flying to be most effective.

Being a thorough stayer, Blaklion is likely to have plenty of use made of him by Twiston-Davies junior and we can see him being still right in the thick of the battle at the final flight.

Another English representative with solid each-way credentials is Tea For Two (33/1 with BetVictor), who is improving rapidly but a worry is that his rider Lizzie Kelly is unable to use her claim in this Grade 1 contest.

Touched off at Ascot last time out, the easy winner of the Lanzarote Hurdle is stepping up in distance but looks just the sort to relish this extended three miles.


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Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle tips - Runners and odds for the big Cheltenham Festival test

Blaklion looks a rock-solid each-way proposition in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival on Friday for trainer/son combination Nigel and Sam Twiston-Davies.

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