Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle (Registered As The Spa Novices' Hurdle) (Grade 1) 3m
- (4yo+, 3m, Class 1, 18 runners)
- Winner £68,340 2nd £25,644 3rd £12,840 4th £6,396 5th £3,216 6th £1,608
- Going: Good, Good to Soft in places
- Surface: Turf
- Winning time: 5m 50.50s
- Off time: 14:53:28
|1st||20 Very Wood||33/1|
|2nd||7 Deputy Dan||4½||10/1|
|3rd||1 Apache Jack||s.h||20/1|
Apache Jack (IRE) 68
|6||161 11-7||D T Hughes||B J Geraghty||136||20/1|
Briar Hill (IRE) 68
|6||161 11-7||W P Mullins||D J Casey||147||2/1f|
Captain Cutter (IRE) 76
|7||161 11-7||N J Henderson||A P McCoy||147||7/1|
Champagne West (IRE) 55
|6||161 11-7||P J Hobbs||R Johnson||145||14/1|
|5||161 11-7||N A Twiston-Davies||Sam Twiston-Davies||129||66/1|
Deputy Dan (IRE) 62
|6||161 11-7||O Sherwood||L P Aspell||145||10/1|
Kings Palace (IRE) 90
|6||161 11-7||D Pipe||T Scudamore||156||5/2|
Madness Light (FR) 48
|5||161 11-7 t||W Greatrex||G Sheehan||132||100/1|
Masters Hill (IRE) 62
|8||161 11-7||C L Tizzard||J Tizzard||135||66/1|
Mosspark (IRE) 22
|6||161 11-7||Miss E C Lavelle||Aidan Coleman||138||20/1|
Prince Siegfried (FR) 62
|8||161 11-7||J P Ferguson||D F O'Regan||138||100/1|
Regal Diamond (IRE) 23
|6||161 11-7||P Bowen||J E Moore||125||100/1|
Rydon Pynes 34
|6||161 11-7||M Hill||Hadden Frost||128||66/1|
Saint Roque (FR) 42
|8||161 11-7 t||P F Nicholls||N D Fehily||144||50/1|
Sausalito Sunrise (IRE) 48
|6||161 11-7||P J Hobbs||T J O'Brien||140||50/1|
The Job Is Right 22
|6||161 11-7 b||M Hourigan||A P Heskin||136||80/1|
Urban Hymn (FR) 48
|6||161 11-7||J M Jefferson||B Hughes||142||14/1|
Very Wood (FR) 68
|5||161 11-7 p1||N Meade||P Carberry||137||33/1|
||6||117||P F Nicholls||D A Jacob||WD|
||6||117||Mrs S J Smith||Ryan Mania||140||NR|
At Fishers Cross (IRE)
||6||11-7||Miss R Curtis||A P McCoy||11/8|
Briar Hill powered clear to win last year's Champion Bumper and has won all three starts over timber, though only beat one rival in a Grade 1 at Naas on his penultimate run and had only two in opposition at Naas last time. The step up to 3m should suit, however, and he'll probably be sent off a short-priced favourite given his yard's form. But there has to be better value elsewhere in what looks a terrific contest packed with promising stayers. Captain Cutter is also unbeaten over hurdles and a Grade 1 winner while Champagne West beat Deputy Dan at Warwick in December and has won both starts since. Deputy Dan has since beaten Masters Hill in a Grade 2 at Warwick but would have preferred a softer surface. Mosspark is another unbeaten gelding and arrives off the back of a Listed victory at Huntingdon while Urban Hymn showed plenty of resolution to beat Blakemount and Sausalito Sunrise in a Grade 2 at Doncaster and isn't without a chance. KINGS PALACE has avoided the recent heavy going as he was put away after beating Masters Hill by 14 lengths here in December with a bold, front-running performance. He bounces off this good ground, jumps well and stays so looks the complete package and is a value alternative against the favourite.
Port Melon (IRE) 7-2 (11-0) Tracked leaders, headway when not fluent 2 out, effort and every chance between last 2, kept on same pace, no impression with front pair flat, 3rd of 8, 5l behind Creepy (11-0) at Cheltenham 2m 5f nov hdl G2 (1) gd in Nov.
Blakemount (IRE) 7-1 (11-10) Tracked leader, challenged 3 out, ridden before last, led last 75 yards, caught post, 2nd of 7, shd behind Urban Hymn (11-10) at Doncaster 3m nov hdl G2 (1) sft in Jan.
Very Wood (FR) 10-3 (11-0) In touch in last, slight mistake 3 out and soon ridden, no impression on leaders from next, kept on without threatening from last, last of 3, 3l behind Briar Hill (11-10) at Naas 2m 4f nov hdl Grade 2 (1) sft in Jan.
Deputy Dan (IRE) 5-2 (11-4) Held up in rear, headway after 6th, challenged after 8th, led 3 out, clear before next, comfortably, won at Warwick 2m 5f nov hdl Grade 2 (1) hvy in Jan beating Masters Hill (11-4) by 9l, 8 ran.
Apache Jack (IRE) 10-1 (11-3) Led, clear at 3rd, reduced advantage from 4 out, ridden and headed 2 out, kept on under pressure from last, 2nd of 3, 2 1/4l behind Briar Hill (11-10) at Naas 2m 4f nov hdl Grade 2 (1) sft in Jan.
Champagne West (IRE) 11-8fav (11-12) Held up in rear, smooth headway to 4th and hit 7th, led 4 out, not fluent 2 out, soon drew clear, kept up to work run in, won at Ascot 2m 6f NH nov hdl (4-7yo) (3) hvy in Jan beating Knock House (11-8) by 4l, 7 ran.
Masters Hill (IRE) 9-1 (11-4) Prominent, led 8th, headed and not fluent 3 out, stayed on same pace, no chance with winner, 2nd of 8, 9l behind Deputy Dan (11-4) at Warwick 2m 5f nov hdl Grade 2 (1) hvy in Jan.
Sausalito Sunrise (IRE) 3-1 (11-12) Held up behind, ridden before 2 out, kept on and no impression, 5th of 7, 17l behind Urban Hymn (11-10) at Doncaster 3m nov hdl G2 (1) sft in Jan.
Urban Hymn (FR) 9-4fav (11-10) Led, pressed from 3 out, not fluent last, headed last 75 yards, rallied to regain lead post, won at Doncaster 3m nov hdl G2 (1) sft in Jan beating Blakemount (11-10) by shd, 7 ran.
Cogry 4-6fav (11-8) Tracked leaders, mistake 4 out, led before 2 out, clear before last, won at Warwick 2m 3f NH nov hdl (4-7yo) (4) sft in Feb beating Pink Gin (11-8) by 6l, 7 ran.
Captain Cutter (IRE) 8-1 (11-7) Took keen hold and waited with in rear, smooth headway on inside to track leaders before 3 out, went left and hit 3 out, went 2nd approaching 2 out, led before last, ridden clear, won at Newbury 2m 5f nov hdl Grade 1 (1) hvy in Dec beating Timesremembered (11-7) by 4 1/2l, 6 ran.
Madness Light (FR) 7-1 (11-12) Led or disputed lead until lost place after 3 out, soon weakened, pulled up before next, in a race won by Red Sherlock (11-9) at Cheltenham 2m 4f nov hdl G2 (1) hvy in Jan, 6 ran.
Mosspark (IRE) 9-2 (11-3) Tracked leader, not fluent 3rd, led approaching 3 out, soon headed, ridden and led again after 3 out, clear from 2 out, went right last, edged left flat, stayed on, won at Huntingdon 2m 4f Listed nov hdl (1) sft in Feb beating Spirit Of Shankly (11-7) by 5l, 5 ran.
Prince Siegfried (FR) 20-1 (11-7) Held up in 5th, not fluent 3rd, raced wide on back straight, pushed along after 3 out, weakened before next, last of 6, 22l behind Royal Boy (11-7) at Kempton 2m nov hdl Grade 1 (1) sft in Jan.
Regal Diamond (IRE) 5-6fav (11-4) Led, jumped slowly 1st, headed next, led after 5th, headed when not fluent 6th, ridden after 7th, weakened before 3 out, pulled up before next, in a race won by Sybarite (11-4) at Ludlow 3m mdn hdl (4) hvy in Feb, 5 ran.
Saint Roque (FR) 2-1 (11-4) Always handy, went 2nd over 2f out, ridden and not pace of winner over 1f out, lost 2nd and stayed on same pace inside final furlong, 3rd of 11, 3 1/2l behind Sign Of A Victory (11-4) at Kempton 2m n h flat (4) std in Jan.
The Job Is Right 13-2 (11-8) Prominent, slight mistake 1st, weakened and eased before straight, pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Don Poli (10-13) at Clonmel 3m nov hdl Grd 3 (1) hvy in Feb, 10 ran.
Briar Hill (IRE) 1-3fav (11-10) Tracked leader in 2nd, pushed along after 3 out, ridden to lead 2 out, stayed on well under pressure run-in, won at Naas 2m 4f nov hdl Grade 2 (1) sft in Jan beating Apache Jack (11-3) by 2 1/4l, 3 ran.
Kings Palace (IRE) 10-11fav (11-7) Made all, jumped well, clear last, impressive, won at Cheltenham 3m nov hdl G2 (1) gd in Dec beating Masters Hill (11-4) by 14l, 7 ran.
Rydon Pynes 9-1 (10-12) Held up in touch, headway to chase leaders after 5th, hit 4 out, challenged 3 out, led soon after, over 2 lengths ahead but ridden approaching last, joined flat, headed and no extra final 100 yards, 2nd of 10, 1/2l behind Upswing (11-1) at Newbury 3m hcp hdl 0-145 (2) hvy in Feb.