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Cheltenham

  • 14:40 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle 3m

  • (Registered As The Spa Novices' Hurdle) (Grade 1) £100,000 added 4yo+ 20 ran
  • Winner £56,950 2nd £21,370 3rd £10,700 4th £5,330
  • Going: Good, Good to Soft in places
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 5m 47.10s
  • Off time: 14:40:17

Breeze blows hot in Bartlett

Scottish raider repels all raiders to win stayers race

Last Updated: 16/03/12 4:50pm

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Brindisi Breeze (R) pops the last with a narrow lead

Brindisi Breeze (R) pops the last with a narrow lead

Brindisi Breeze gave Scottish trainer Lucinda Russell and jockey Campbell Gillies their first Cheltenham winner with a brave victory in the Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle.

The 7/1 chance was always prominent throughout the three-mile contest before going on a mile out and Gillies kept pulling out more on the eventual winner.

Heavily-backed favourite Boston Bob was not fluent at times and endured a troubled passage but still posed the biggest threat on the long run to the final flight.

Ruby Walsh gradually closed the gap on the leader but Brindisi Breeze found one final measured leap at the last that ultimately sealed the win, with two lengths between the pair at the line.

Grand Vision (25/1) was the only other horse in contention from the home turn and battled on gamely to finish only a length-and-a-quarter further behind with a mile back to the remainder.

Amazing

Russell said: "It's just fantastic as his owner, Sandy Seymour, only has one horse.

"It's what you work for. You spend all winter trying to put them in the right races and it's just amazing that the right race happens to be at Cheltenham.

"He's very tough - he doesn't like horses passing him. He's not the fastest in the world - he doesn't burn up the gallops - but he's so brave and he jumps quickly.

"He'll be a fantastic chaser and that's what he'll be doing next season."

Gillies added: "It's great for Scotland and all of the team. We came here confident but he's blown us away again.

"He just pricked his ears the whole of the time. He's very genuine and he just keeps galloping - he's got the lot. All credit to him, he's a real athlete."

Graham Wylie, owner of Boston Bob, said: "It's always disappointing to finish so close and not win, but you've got to be happy with a second at Cheltenham.

"He just took a while to get going but he was making good ground at the finish. I'd imagine he'll go to Punchestown."

Colin Tizzard, trainer of the third home, Grand Vision, said: "You'd have to be happy with that, he's run a blinder.

"It's just such a shame he didn't get into the Pertemps as he'd have looked a good thing in that. We actually had the chance to buy the winner but we were too late.

"We've still got a good horse and we'll go to Aintree now."

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