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Kings Palace camp confident of bold run in Albert Bartlett

David Pipe has issued an upbeat report on the well-being of Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle favourite Kings Palace ahead of the 2014 Cheltenham Festival.

The powerfully-built six-year-old already looked a bargain buy at 18,000 euros when showing plenty of promise in bumpers last season, making all to romp home by 18 lengths at Plumpton before finishing second in better company behind Captain Cutter at Aintree.

Things did not go to plan when he was then put over timber at Ayr, with Kings Palace falling at the second-last up in Scotland, but that may have been a blessing in disguise as he maintained his novice status for this term.

Looking much stronger physically, the son of King's Theatre overcame several sloppy jumps to score at Fontwell in October and then appeared much more like the finished article when crushing Creepy by 18 lengths at Cheltenham a fortnight later.

Tom Scudamore again enjoyed an armchair ride out in front when striking by another wide margin in Grade 2 company back at Prestbury Park in December and the stage is set for him to now make his mark at elite level at the Festival.

"He's done nothing wrong, he's been very impressive and I'm just scared of the Willie Mullins horses," joked Pipe. "He handles the track and we definitely know he stays the three miles round the more galloping course there. He's favourite and he deserves to be there. You can't knock his form, it's rock solid and because he jumps so well he travels easier and finds it easier."

Six-year-old entries have a good record in the Albert Bartlett, with At Fishers Cross making it five wins in seven years for that age group last term, and all eyes will be on Kings Palace this time.

The 2013 Champion Bumper hero Briar Hill, trained over in Ireland by Mullins, is rated his biggest threat, while Captain Cutter could also seek to confirm placings with Pipe's charge from that bumper clash back in December 2012 following a hat-trick over hurdles. 


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Kings Palace camp confident of bold run in Albert Bartlett

David Pipe has issued an upbeat report on the well-being of Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle favourite Kings Palace ahead of the 2014 Cheltenham Festival.

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