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  • Kings Holds The Aces

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

  • (4yo+, 3m, Class 1, 7 runners)
  • Winner £17,085 2nd £6,411 3rd £3,210 4th £1,599 5th £804 6th £402
  • Going: Good
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 6m 1.50s
  • Off time: 13:50:18
  • Last Updated: December 14 2013, 17:43 GMT

All roads lead back to Cheltenham in March for Kings Palace following his slick front-running display in the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle at Prestbury Park.

Kings Palace: Impressive winner at Cheltenham
Kings Palace: Impressive winner at Cheltenham

The Grade Two heat is a trial event for the three-mile contest of the same name at the Festival and that is firmly on Kings Palace's radar, along with a possible entry in the shorter Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle, after what was an impressive victory.

The David Pipe-trained 10/11 favourite was foot-perfect over virtually every obstacle and could be called the winner a long way out as only Masters Hill threw down any kind of challenge.

When Tom Scudamore let out an inch or two or rein after the second-last, Kings Palace responded in style to kick away, clear the last and triumph by 14 lengths without really coming under pressure.

Masters Hill stuck on for second, but the others were all well beaten. Saint Roque took a tired fall at the last but thankfully appeared to emerge unscathed.

Pipe said: "He may have one more run and go to the Festival, we'll see.

"He's got a good, high cruising speed, and he jumped well and stayed well.

"He's always jumped well, someone just asked me how we got him to fall at Ayr last year but these things happen for a reason and it might have been the best thing that could have happened.

"We didn't want to lose his novice status last year, we've given him time, he's strengthened up and it's paid off.

"I imagine he will have an entry in the two-five (Neptune) but the Albert Bartlett would be the logical race for him.

"He'll be a smashing three-mile chaser next year."

"He's still quite raw, if we can keep going on from this we'll have a nice horse," was Scudamore's verdict.

"He's just a good horse. He's handled everything we have thrown at him and long may that continue.

"His form has worked out very well, beating Creepy and horses like that. There are a lot of factors to weigh up between now and Cheltenham, but David knows what he is doing and will find the right race."

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Sky Bet cut the winner's odds from 10/1 to 5/1 for the Albert Bartlett Hurdle and spokesman Michael Shinners said: "That was very impressive. He jumped well, gallops and increased his course experience so he's very much one we'll be wanting to keep onside."

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