Cheltenham Tips: Albert Bartlett Hurdle antepost bets from our top pundits

Ruby Walsh, Frank Hickey and Rory Delargy get stuck into Friday's Grade One staying hurdle for novices.

From the Horses Mouth Cheltenham Countdown

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*Odds quoted on the widget are Future Racing / Antepost prices which means that if your selection does not run in the race for whatever reason – you will lose your stake under traditional Antepost rules

Each and every day the 2022 Cheltenham Festival edges a little closer and Paddy’s top team of tipsters and racing experts are chomping at the bit to find you some winners. As the long wait for the 2022 Festival slowly nears its end, the From The Horses’ Mouth crew give the Albert Bartlett Hurdle a good shake down to pick out some ante-post punts.

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In our latest Cheltenham Countdown special we’ve got the GOAT Ruby Walsh, Paddy’s top racing trader Frank Hickey and tipster extraordinaire Rory Delargy running the rule over one of Friday’s main attractions. So, here’s where the lads’ money’s going at this stage with under two months to go.

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Frank Hickey

“Gerri Colombe has won all five of his runs, winning a point, two bumpers and two hurdles races. The Thurles win at the weekend will really benefit him, as the track and ground wouldn’t have suited him and he showed a good attitude to win. It would have been easy enough for him to get beat there.

“That experience is worth far more to him than if he had won on the bridle. That Thurles race has been won by Torygraph, Monkfish, Dortmund Park and The Storyteller. The stiff test of stamina that the Albert Bartlett presents on the new course at Cheltenham will really suit him. He is a big player.

“Hollow Games looks sure to improve when stepping up to 3m and his third place finish in the Lawlors Of Naas Hurdle in January was his first defeat in six starts. Minella Crooner shaped really nicely on his hurdles debut when splitting Journey With Me and Kilcruit.

He followed up in effortless fashion at Punchestown over 3m.

“That wasn’t a deep race, but he was impressive and he will go to Clonmel for a Grade 3 hurdle and then maybe to the 3m Albertt Bartlett or the Martin Pipe Hurdle for conditional jockeys on the same day. Eric Bloodaxe is famous for beating Ferny Hollow in a bumper. He was off the track after picking up an injury at the Dublin Racing Festival when 11/4 in the Grade 2 bumper Appreciate It won in 2020.

“He is 2-3 over hurdles, winning at Naas over 2m 3f and then finishing 11 lengths second to Ginto in a Navan Grade 2 over 2m 4f. He won the Limerick Grade 2 over 2m7f that has been an excellent pointer to this race, but I do think it was a very weak renewal. He’s a nice horse but I’d be a little disappointed if he proved good enough to win the Albert Bartlett.

“I mentioned on last Friday’s podcast that I had backed Gerri Colombe for this race and nothing has happened to turn me off. The price isn’t massive but this race has a really uncertain feel to it and he could contract in price depending on what happens at the Dublin Racing Festival in a fortnight and at the Cheltenham Trials day this Saturday.”

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Ruby Walsh

“Gordon Elliott holds the key here as it really depends which races Ginto and Hollow Games go for. While Hollow Games looks like he wants it, Jack Kennedy’s comments when he got off Ginto at Naas seems to suggest that he thinks he should be going up in trip.

“They’ll probably split Hollow Games and Ginto. I think they’ll put Hollow Games in the Albert Bartlett and he’d be my pick. He also has Gerri Colombe, who was workmanlike at Thurles last Sunday, but he got the job done.

“Willie Mullins’ record in the race has improved since I retired! He’s got Minella Cocooner, who won a  2m 4f maiden at Navan after being beaten on his first start at Cork, so he obviously improved for that run. You’ll probably see him at the Dublin Racing Festival in two weeks so judge him then. He has to step forward.”

Rory Delargy

“Stag Horn is is quite short for the Albert Bartlett, but I don’t see him stepping up in trip. I know he’s got form over 2m 4f on the Flat, but historically if you look at horses who have run well in the Ascot Stakes or the Queen Alexandra and look at their best trip over hurdles, they don’t tend to stay any further over hurdles than they do on the Flat.

“I don’t see Stag Horn wanting a real test of stamina, like the Albert Bartlett tends to be. I think he’s much more likely to go Ballymore Hurdle. I think that’s true of Hillcrest as well.

“I take the view that Ginto is better suited by 3m, than 2m 4f. I thought that when he won last time, obviously that’s very good form and it looks to put him firmly in the mix for the shorter race, but I thought he would improve for 3m the way he galloped through that race.

I thought he looked a real stayer.

“You wouldn’t absolutely swear it from his pedigree, but he struck me as a stayer. I’m not sure connections would want to go for the Albert Bartlett with him, but if I was getting Non Runner No Bet I’d be keen to back Ginto and take a chance that he ends up in the Albert Bartlett. He could be a class apart if he does go for it.”

*Odds quoted on the widget are Future Racing / Antepost prices which means that if your selection does not run in the race for whatever reason – you will lose your stake under traditional Antepost rules

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while in-copy odds are accurate at the time of publication but subject to change

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