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Ben Pauling oozing confidence about Albert Bartlett favourite Barters Hill

Jon Wilde in Fri. 17th March 7 Mar 2016
  • Barters Hill is favourite for the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle 
  • Find out the latest news on this Cheltenham Festival fancy
Barters Hill (credit: Cheltenhampro.com)

Ben Pauling, a fast-rising star of the training ranks, goes to the Cheltenham Festival oozing confidence about the prospects of his team, in particular Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle favourite Barters Hill.

A six-year-old unbeaten in his seven career starts, Barters Hill has had to work hard for most of his victories but in the words of his trainer “doesn’t look like he knows how to get beaten”.

Although Gangster, trained by the all-conquering Willie Mullins, looks a dangerous rival for the race that immediately precedes the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday’s final day of the Festival, Pauling is unconcerned about which rivals will line up against his runner.

Pauling said:
“I don’t really worry about what the opposition is because, completely honestly, at the moment he doesn’t look like he knows how to get beaten. 
“He wants to win and going to Cheltenham that is a huge advantage, to have a horse that just doesn’t like getting beaten, with a huge engine as well. 
“Over the last month he’s started to really sparkle. He’s very exciting. I’m delighted with how he is at home. He came out of his last race at Doncaster well, he knew he’d had a bit of a race but was fine. 
“Going to the Cheltenham Festival, having a genuine favourite with a good chance is amazing. I thank my lucky stars.”

Barters Hill is not the only runner with a chance of giving Pauling a Cheltenham Festival winner in only his third season as a trainer, having formerly been assistant to Nicky Henderson.

He suffered a blow last week when novice chaser Drumacoo was ruled out of the meeting due to a setback, but Local Show has realistic prospects in the National Hunt Novices’ Chase along with Raven’s Tower in the concluding Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup.

Pauling, 32, added:
“Raven’s Tower is very good fresh, jumps brilliantly and the faster they go the better. He just could be weaving his way through after two-out. I expect him to be jumping the last fence somewhere in contention. 
“I never expected to be in a position to have a Cheltenham winner so soon. If it actually came off, it would be career-changing because we are getting plenty of interest as it is, but that would just seal the deal for a lot of things. It would mean everything.”


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Ben Pauling oozing confidence about Albert Bartlett favourite Barters Hill

Ben Pauling, a fast-rising star of the training ranks, goes to the Cheltenham Festival oozing confidence about the prospects of his team, in particular Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle favourite Barters Hill.

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