• Racing/
  • Coneygree Looks Here To Stay

Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle (Registered As The Bristol Novices' Hurdle) (Grade 2) 3m

  • (4yo+, 3m, Class 1, 7 runners)
  • Winner £14,238 2nd £5,342 3rd £2,675 4th £1,332 5th £670 6th £335
  • Going: Heavy, Soft in places
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 6m 38.60s
  • Off time: 13:55:29
  • Last Updated: December 15 2012, 17:25 GMT

The move up to three miles saw Coneygree produce arguably his best performance to date as he outgalloped his rivals to take the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle.

Coneygree: Winning form at Cheltenham again
Coneygree: Winning form at Cheltenham again

On an afternoon of Cheltenham Festival clues, the 11/10 favourite cemented his position at the head of the betting for the three-mile novice event that bears the same name as this contest.

Always to the fore under Mattie Batchelor, the half-brother to Hennessy winner Carruthers briefly looked in trouble when challenged on both sides on the run to the final flight.

But Batchelor made sure of a good jump and the momentum saw him power away again up the closing hill, ultimately beating Aerial (4/1) by six lengths.

"The boys said I had gone a good gallop, but on a good horse it doesn't feel like that," the jockey told Racing UK.

"I saw them coming at me from the second last so I gave him a slap but he picked up again.

"Although he felt like he was getting a bit tired, I think if anything else had come at him he would have gone away again."

Sky Bet cut Coneygree's odds from 12/1 to 7/1 for the Albert Bartlett as a consequence of this victory.

"I don't think we would run him [at the Chelteham Festival] if it was on the fast side of good, as you can see from his knee action But they usually put plenty of water on, so that should be fine," Batchelor added.

"I was starting to think about whether I would be retiring next season, but with this horse to look forward to, I might be around a bit longer!"

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