Cheltenham Preview: The favourite is not in favour with 8/1 runner preferred

BoyleSport hosted its Cheltenham Preview night where a panel of experts all provided their thoughts on who will win The Albert Bartlett, with none of them choosing the 10/3 favourite. 

Held at The Bardic Theatre in Tyrone, in aid of St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP), the panel, hosted by David Jennings of the Racing Post, included Johnny Dineen from Upping the Ante; Jockey Denis O’Regan, Assistant Trainer to WP Mullins; David Casey; Trainer Peter Hahey; Henry de Bromhead, Race Planner, and lastly Robbie Power and Tony Keenan from Sky Sport’s At The Races.

On Hiddenvalley Lake, trained by Henry de Bromhead, Power stated that, when compared to his last race, fans will “see a better horse” in the Albert. Yet, despite higher hopes, Power put his belief in Three Card Brag.

Power stated: “I think Three Card Brag is going to take a lot of beating in this race. Three miles, he’s been crying out for it all season. He’s going to improve a hell of a lot for us. He won nicely over two and a half inferiors the last day. I think he’s the horse everyone has to beat in this race. 

Agreeing with Power, O’Regan also went for Three Card Brag, who’s 8/1 with BoyleSports, but also noted that Hiddenvalley Lake could potentially sneak the win, with an each way chance. 

Also going with the previous two, Hahey expressed his belief that Three Card Brag would be victorious at The Albert Bartlett.

He stated: “I agree with the lads. He’s crying out for three miles. The last day he ran in… he didn’t enjoy it at all. He’s going to be a very good steer and even better horse next year but I think he’s good enough to win that.”

Up next, Keenan expressed his lack of favour for Embassy Gardens stating he won a nothing race the last time out but did state, similar to Three Card Brag, that the step up to three miles is something he has been “crying out for”. 

However, on the winner of The Albert Barlett, Keenan, again, put his faith in Three Card Brag.

“He’s probably the horse to beat,” expressed Keenan. “He’s had plenty of running and that use to be the type of horse you would be looking for in this race. Whereas, the last couple of years the more classier horses have come to the fore.”  

Dineen, again, went to Three Card Brag, but warned that he is a “very ground dependent horse”, stressing that the heavy the ground the better his chances and on good ground he would not back him.