Cheltenham Festival 2016 BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle is run over three miles and was added to The Festival in 2005. Initially sponsored by Brit Insurance, it was backed by Albert Bartlett for the first time in 2008, coinciding with its upgrade to Grade One status and carries prize money of £120,000.
The most runners to go to post was 23 in 2011, while the smallest has been 13 in 2013. The current safety limit is 20 runners.
MOST SUCCESSFUL OWNER
JP McManus (Wichita Lineman in 2007 and At Fishers Cross in 2013) and Gigginstown House Stud (Weapons Amnesty in 2009 and Very Wood in 2014) with two wins each.
MOST SUCCESSFUL TRAINER
Jonjo O’Neill has recorded two victories with Black Jack Ketchum (2006) and Wichita Lineman (2007).
MOST SUCCESSFUL JOCKEY
AP McCoy with three wins – Black Jack Ketchum (2006), Wichita Lineman (2007) and At Fishers Cross (2013).
A mare has yet to win the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle.
Black Jack Ketchum was sent off the even-money favourite in 2006 and duly justified his position in the market with an impressive nine-length success, while Berties Dream (2010) and Very Wood (2014) have both scored at odds of 33/1. Four of the 11 favourites have obliged.
The oldest horses to win the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle are Black Jack Ketchum (2006), Nenuphar Collonges (2008), Berties Dream (2010) and Martello Tower (2015), who were all aged seven.
Moulin Riche was four when triumphant in 2005, making him the youngest winner.
The overall breakdown by age is as follows:
- 4yo – 1 victory
- 5yo – 1 victory
- 6yo – 5 victories
- 7yo – 4 victories
The quickest winning time stands at 5m 38.30s, set by Black Jack Ketchum in 2006.
IRELAND (4): Weapon’s Amnesty (2009), Berties Dream (2010), Very Wood (2014) and Martello Tower (2015).
FRANCE (1): Moulin Riche (2005).
DID YOU KNOW?
Albert Bartlett sponsors three other races in the build-up to The Festival with Grade Two contests at Cheltenham (12th December), Doncaster (30th January) and Haydock Park (20th February).
The Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle has proved to be a good pointer to the RSA Chase in recent years. Bobs Worth and Weapon’s Amnesty, who captured the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle in 2011 and 2009 respectively, went on to win the RSA Chase the following season.
In 2013, Bobs Worth became the first winner of the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle to subsequently capture the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup.