1pt each-way Shantreusse @12/1, 14:50 Cheltenham, Friday

3m (2m7f213y) (New) Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (Registered As The Spa Novices’ Hurdle) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (4yo+) 

The Albert Bartlett has had some odd results over the years with it being a graveyard for favourites. In fact, only one favourite has been successful in the last 10 years, and it has paid to side with those that have the potential to show significant improvement for this type of test. 

Hillcrest will be a popular winner, racing under the colours of the late Trevor Hemmings. He firmly put himself in the picture as a leading contender for this with a facile victory on heavy ground at Haydock four weeks ago. The drying ground may not be in his favour and at odds of 11/4 he has been well found in the market. 

The Irish challenge is spearheaded by Ginto who does look a classy sort. The Elliott camp have not been shy about how much they rate this son of Walk In The Park, and his three runs over hurdles (including a Grade 1 success) has shown why they have. He is a chaser in the making – as most are in this contest – and whilst originally destined for the Ballymore the loss of apparent first string Minella Crooner has meant that they have waited for this. Ginto should stay this trip on his first attempt over it, but does tend to jump right which could be crucial over three miles. 

However the one that looks massively underestimated in the market is SHANTREUSSE from the Henry De Bromhead yard. Rachel Blackmore and Henry have been ticking along this week without being spectacular, but they could have a big day on Friday.  

They won the Albert Bartlett at 50/1 with Minella Indo in 2020 having raced in a Grade 3 Novice Hurdle at Clonmel beforehand. Shantreusse won the exact same Grade 3 and even posted the same RPR as Minella Indo did before winning this. 

Shantreusse is a big scopey type who looks like he has stamina in abundance, his jumping is sound and I can see him really enjoying the galloping style of the New Course at Cheltenham. At 12/1, his price is far too big, and he has gone under the radar because he hasn’t competed against the Irish in the traditional Grade 1 novice hurdle preps for this. The race will be run to suit, and he is a cracking each-way bet.

1pt each-way Shantreusse @12/1, 14:50 Cheltenham, Friday (1-5 places, 1/5 odds with Bet365) 

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