Cheltenham Festival: Hillcrest has Paddy’s pundits purring ahead of the Albert Bartlett

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Hillcrest romped to an impressive victory in the Prestige Novices’ Hurdle at Haydock on Saturday to strengthen his claims for the Albert Bartlett at next month’s Cheltenham Festival.

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Speaking on the latest episode of our Cheltenham Countdown podcast series, all three of our pundits hailed the seven-year-old’s performance, with tipster Rory Delargy comparing Henry Daly’s charge to 1992 Grand National winner Party Politics. You can listen to the show in full BELOW.

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Frank Hickey:

“Hillcrest’s very, very good and it was impressive how quickly he came home in the Prestige Novices’ Hurdle. It was an incredible performance. It’s been a while since a horse has won the Prestige and the Albert Bartlett – Brindisi Breeze was the last to do it.

“I’m in the minority of not liking Minella Crooner that much and I think he’s short enough. If you gave me a choice between the two I’d go for Hillcrest.”

Rory Delargy:

“What’s most impressive about Hillcrest is that he’s incredibly nimble for a horse who’s meant to be 18 hands high. Henry doesn’t actually know how tall he is because he doesn’t have the equipment to measure him!

“He’s really clever at his hurdles. The issue for big horses is they keep galloping and don’t see the obstacles or don’t know how to shorten up but every now and again you get a horse that’s nimble with their feet. He’s reminiscent of Party Politics.”

Ruby Walsh:

“Hillcrest went hard and Crystal Glory has tried to pick him off but couldn’t. It was a really good performance and there was a lot to like about it.”

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