The Albert Bartlett sees the elite staying novice hurdlers take to Cheltenham in order to battle it out over the testing three-mile trip.

You need guts, determination, stamina and talent, all in equal measures to land the prestigious race and this puts Barters Hill right in the frame.

Ben Pauling’s unbeaten charge maintained his 100% record in tenacious style at Doncaster in January and although it wasn’t the most visually impressive success, the qualities he shown to grind out the win may well matter more at Cheltenham.

Having won well on his first two starts, he was allowed to take his spot in a listed numper at Newbury, where he battled to victory over the very talented Buveur D’air.

This ensured he was sent to Aintree where he was backed to go close and that he did, as he moved clear of the well-regarded Bellshill with the minimum of fuss. He had never won by too far until he made his first appearance over hurdles, as he spread-eagled the field, winning by 14l in style.

Another wide-margin victory ensued as he hacked up in the Betfred Challow Hurdle, moving clear of Politologue.

He looked to be facing his stiffest test over the obstacles as he took on Up For Review in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at Doncaster and although that particular battle failed to materialised, he was still given a real scare by Ballydine.

Barters Hill set a testing gallop from the front before a slight mistake at the fourth shook David Bass in the saddle. He allowed his mount a breather at the front and he had Up For Review in trouble after the second last.

Ballydine emerged as the sole remaining challenger, pressing Barters Hill before the last but the favourite kept on for tremendous pressure on the run-in, eventually crossing the line three-quarters of a length in front of his rival.

He has the scope for improvement and he certainly brings the strongest form already in the book, as it looks a typically open renewal of the Albert Bartlett.

He has always been towards the head of the market and as such, it would be no surprise to see him go off one of the best backed horses on what looks a particularly tricky betting day on Gold Cup Friday.

The current 5/2 is fair and it could get the funds boosted before the showpiece of the week, which arrives forty minutes after!

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Odds subject to change.