The jumps season is slowly but surely appearing into view and Lewis Jones is bouncing off the walls in anticipation of what lies ahead.
Ante-post betting at this stage for the Cheltenham Festival is a tough task but our tipster is bang up for the challenge and has his eyes on a 7/2 shot for the Albert Bartlett Novice Hurdle at Cheltenham that looks well worth backing and following on the road to the greatest show on turf…..
This is the time of the year full of hopes and dreams for the season ahead. The flat season is drawing to a close and punters will soon need to rejig their thinking.
Out of the window goes champagne, Goodwood and Epsom and in comes tweed jackets, Huntington and Cheltenham.
The fantastic thing about the jumps season is that all roads lead to the end of the season.
Unlike the flat where it seems all the major festivals and races like the Guineas and the Derby take place early on, punters have to patiently wait for Christmas to come in the form of the Cheltenham and Punchestown festivals.
This can be hard work for the novice hurdlers, who have to slug round Cheltenham’s three mile course with hardly any experience. You need to find a horse with guts, guts and more guts…
Who won the Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle in 2016?
Good form this race, which was won by the battle hardened Unowwhatimeanharry, who made it 5-5 since joining Harry Fry. He saw off a strong field which included seven runners from the Willie Mullins stable who were all well seen off by the winner.
The winner was given a cracking ride by Noel Fehily, who nursed him into the race and then gave him a power-packed ride all the way to the finish to complete he five timer.
He’s progressed further this season already and is a red hot favourite for the World Hurdle in March. Ticks every box for that race.
He’ll be hard to beat.
How to pick the winner of the Novices Hurdle ?
Course form is especially crucial for a horse to prosper in this gut-busting three miler. Seven of the last 11 winners had already had two previous wins at Prestbury Park under their name. Previous form over three miles is also a must when finding the winner.
This is a tough old slog for novices and they need to come prepared, ideally with a win over three miles to their name. Stamina is crucial, as shown with last year’s winner.
Ante-post tip for the Novices Hurdle 2017?
With the stamina angle firmly at the forefront of our minds, we like the look of Death Duty from the Gordon Elliot stable.
He looks jammed packed with staying ability and has already racked up two wins at Graded level. Elliot is a bit of a master of getting to the bottom of these gutsy three milers.
The 7/2 looks tasty even at this stage.