Albert Bartlett attracts 101

Thu 31st Jan 2013, 12:19
Ballycasey
Ballycasey
(Healy Racing Photos)
At Fishers Cross numbers among a huge initial entry for the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

Many of the 101 horses entered have alternative engagements at the Festival and Rebecca Curtis' charge is no different.

The winner of a three mile handicap hurdle at Cheltenham in December, the six year old successfully dropped back in trip when beating The New One in the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle back in Gloucestershire on trials day.

Willie Mullins has yet to lift this prize but he usually has a strong hand in the contest and that should be the case once again with the County Carlow handler responsible for 11 entries.

Among them are recent Leopardstown winner Pont Alexandre, Ballycasey and last year's Champion Bumper winner Champagne Fever.

Jonjo O'Neill has won the contest with Wichita Lineman and Black Jack Ketchum and the master of Jackdaws Castle has put together another strong team featuring Challow Hurdle winner Taquin Du Seuil, the unbeaten Cloudy Copper, Tominator and Shutthefrontdoor.

Tominator is not the only former smart Flat performer featured with John Ferguson handing entries to Darley Sun and Zuider Zee while dual Cesarewitch winner Aaim To Prosper could represent Paul Nicholls.

Hold On Julio was second to Cloudy Copper at Kempton on his first run over hurdles since 2008 and trainer Alan King has enjoyed success with a similar type in this race having won the 2008 renewal with the useful chaser Nenuphar Collonges.

Another chaser that could revert to timber is Brian Ellison's stout-stayer Neptune Equester while Coneygree, Gevrey Chambertin and Corrin Wood are among other notable entries.

Strong Irish entry for Supreme Novice

Irish runners dominate the antepost betting for the William Hill Supreme Novices' Hurdle and big guns Jezki and Un Atout are among a bumper entry.