Tag Archive for: Albert Bartlett

Bowtogreatness could lead Harry Redknapp’s Festival charge

Harry Redknapp is used to scoring on the biggest stage and the former Premier League manager will head to Cheltenham in March with at least two aptly-named horses.

The promising Bowtogreatness has run out an impressive winner in two novice hurdles, at Ffos Las last month and at Leicester last week when defying a penalty to score by eight and a half lengths.

The progressive son of Westerner had been placed in two bumpers last season and has showed plenty more in two starts since a fall on his hurdling bow.

Owned by Redknapp and Sophie Pauling, the gelding is likely to have another run before heading to the Festival meeting in March.

Trainer Ben Pauling said: “Bowtogreatness is a nice horse for the future. He is a great big, raw type.

“Harry will have a lot of fun with him. He is in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle and the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle, but I think he stays very well so might go Albert Bartlett.

“I think we will probably need to give him one more, because he is so fresh.

“We will see how he has come out of the race and I would suggest that to keep a lid on him we will have to give him one more run beforehand. He has not been chucked into the deep end yet, but he is not short of ability.”

Pauling is also mulling over the possibility of sending Shakem Up’Arry to the Arkle, despite a debate over which trip is suitable.

The eight-year-old got off the mark at the second attempt over fences at Haydock last month over an extended two miles, but was a well-beaten third of six back at the same track on holding ground when upped to two and a half miles last weekend.

Pauling said: “Shakem Up’Arry is in great order. He just doesn’t stay two and a half. I keep trying, all the jockeys say he’ll stay but I don’t think he does.

“At the moment the form says he doesn’t stay, so I think we will stick to that. He would need soft ground to run in the Arkle, so we will have a think about what we do. There is no immediate rush.”

Blazing Khal stamps his class

Blazing Khal further enhanced his Cheltenham Festival claims by making it back-to-back course victories in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle.

A winner on his hurdling debut at Galway before winning a Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle trial at Cheltenham last month, Blazing Khal stepped up to three miles for the first time on his return to the Cotswolds.

Ridden confidently by Donal McInerney, the even-money favourite gave his supporters a brief fright by fluffing his lines at the second flight from home, but was soon back on the bridle.

The Kalanisi gelding moved smoothly to the lead approaching the final flight and readily kicked four and a quarter lengths clear of Gelino Bello, who was also runner-up to the winner four weeks ago.

Paddy Power make Blazing Khal their 5-1 favourite (from 8-1) for the Albert Bartlett in March, with Byrnes planning one more run in the meantime.

He said: “I’m delighted. I thought his jumping was much better today, apart from the second-last, and he took off again when he gave him a slap down the shoulder. I’d say he’d plenty left.

Blazing Khal returns to the Cheltenham winner's enclosure
Blazing Khal returns to the Cheltenham winner’s enclosure (David Davies/PA)

“We were a small bit worried it would be a bit quick for him the last day and I think three miles is his forte.

“The Albert Bartlett would definitely be the aim. Maybe we’ll run him at the Dublin Racing Festival (at Leopardstown in February), depending on the ground – he wouldn’t run there if it’s good ground.

“He could still improve more, hopefully.”