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The runner the stats say will win Cheltenham’s Albert Bartlett

| 04.02.2015

Having watched four of the first six home in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the last Cheltenham Festival priced at a minimum of 20/1, there may be the temptation to focus solely on the outsiders in the betting for the 2015 renewal.

However, the 3m contest has tended to favour those from the top five in the betting in the last decade, with eight winners sent off at single-figure odds.

One horse this year that currently isn’t a single-figure price, but is highly likely to be by Albert Bartlett race day is Vyta Du Roc, with Ladbrokes offering the best price at present at 16/1.

When looking at some of the biggest trends that have been common among recent Albert Bartlett winners, Nicky Henderson’s charge ticks virtually every box.

– Aged 6 or 7 £££
– Irish or French bred 
– Had 3 to 6 runs over hurdles in Great Britain or Ireland £££
– Has won a hurdle at graded level £££
– Won over 2m4f or further £££
– Finished in the first two on their most recent start £££
– Cheltenham course winner £££
– Posted a Racing Post Rating of 145 or higher on their last start £££
– Priced at 9/1 or less x

Vyta Du Roc is yet to tackle any distance further than 2m5f, but appears a horse that just keeps on giving everything, rather than another that has a sharp turn of foot to go and win a race.

This was evident when second in the Grade 1 Challow Novices’ Hurdle last time, when he was tapped for toe as the race began to pick up and he was the first of the leading protagonists to be ridden along.

He ended up jumping the last alongside eventual winner Parlour Games, who at that time was still on the bridle. Yet the eventual margin was still only a neck and John Ferguson’s runner seems destined to stick to the shorter trip of the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

This was Vyta Du Roc’s first defeat since coming from France and joining the yard of Nicky Henderson and there seems no other Festival race for the six-year-old to tackle.

The fact Willie Mullins has never trained the winner of the Albert Bartlett is another tick in the column of Vyta Du Roc. More on Mullins’ prospects this year can be found here

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.