0.5pt win Bachasson @40/1, 0.5pt win West Approach @100/1, 14:50 Cheltenham

Despite the presence of the unbeaten Barters Hill at the top of the market, the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle looks wide open this year and there’s every chance it’ll go to an outsider.

We’ve already advised WEST APPROACH at 100/1 in the hope he’ll continue improving and progress into a staying chaser close to the calibre of his illustrious siblings Cole Harden and Thistlecrack, who have won the last two renewals of the World Hurdle.

Both of them like good ground and Thistlecrack was awesome yesterday, so let’s hope West Approach, under the same ownership and also trained by Colin Tizzard, can run well on today’s quick surface like his brother.

He’s actually 125/1 now in places, so if you haven’t backed him already he’s worth a few quid each-way.

The other outsider I like who looks totally unexposed is BACHASSON, under the same ownership as leading chaser Un De Sceaux and trained by the irrepressible Willie Mullins.

His good ground form is excellent and he’s floundered over the winter in the deluge, but has still run with credit behind Ruby Walsh’s mount in this race, the eight-timer seeking Long Dog.

I remember Ruby had a tough choice to make in the first time they met and he opted for Long Dog because the ground had gone bad on the day, and just a neck separated the two at the finish with Ruby getting it right.

Today’s fast ground suggests they’ll be closely matched, but there’s a huge gulf in the prices as Long Dog is a best-priced 7/1 and the selection a whopping 40/1 in places.

It’s a punt, particularly as both take massive steps up in trip, but from a stamina perspective they’re totally unexposed and anything could happen as a result.

0.5pt win Bachasson @40/1 with Stan James, 14:50 Cheltenham
0.5pt win West Approach @100/1, 14:50 Cheltenham [ante-post]

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