Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle - Fri March 13th 2009 

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Weapon's Amnesty Success in Albert Bartlett


1st (16) Weapon's Amnesty 8/1
2nd (12) Pride Of Dulcote 3/1 fav
3rd (13) The Midnight Club 14/1


Weapon’s Amnesty

Weapon’s Amnesty
Trainer Charles Byrnes was overjoyed to register his first success at The Festival when Weapon’s Amnesty just held by a diminishing half a length from the favourite Pride Of Dulcote in the Grade One Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle.

The winner looked to have the race sewn up after the last but idled in front as the runner-up found a second wind.

The winner, an 8/1 chance, carried the colours of Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown House Stud and was partnered to victory by Davy Russell.

Byrnes said: “It’s fantastic to have my first winner at the festival.

“I have been second twice in this race before (Powerstation in 2006 and Liskennett in 2008) and to win is just unbelievable feeling.

“The horse had the form and has been working exceptionally well.

“He was just idling in front today. He is an out and out stayer and a real three mile horse.

“He will jump a fence and I would imagine that will be next season.”

Successful jockey Davy Russell added: "I knew that I didn't want to get there too early but he's slow and I couldn't stop him. I was hoping that someone would come to me, not too close to the line so they wouldn't fly by me.

"He's a good horse. He wasn't doing a stroke in front and it's great. I was definitely on the best horse in the race and I didn't want to hit the front too soon. If you look at the replay then you'll see him pricking his ears and looking up to the crowd. I was hoping that Ruby would come to me sooner rather than later and that he would help me to the line.

"We ran him over a shorter trip a Leopardstown and he ran very lazily and stayed on really well. He won his maiden over three miles so I knew that stamina wouldn't be a problem. Being by Presenting, I knew that he would handle the better ground as well

"Charles has done a fantastic job with this horse because he is not the easiest horse to train - he's a big-framed horse and a chaser in the making.

"When you have to wait until the last day of The Festival to have a winner, it's a long time. I had a couple of lovely rides earlier in the week and they all have been knocking on the door and hitting the goalpost.”


Starting Price
Beaten Distance
Weapon's Amnesty
C Byrnes
D N Russell
11st 7lbs
8 - 1
Pride Of Dulcote
P F Nicholls
R Walsh
11st 7lbs
3 - 1
1/2 length
The Midnight Club
W P Mullins
Emmet Mullins
11st 7lbs
14 - 1
2 lengths
On Raglan Road
J Howard Johnson
Denis O'Regan
11st 7lbs
9 - 1
5 lengths
Cape Tribulation
J M Jefferson
P Kinsella
11st 7lbs
4 - 1
3 lengths
Midnight Sail
A King
W Hutchinson
11st 7lbs
100 - 1
5 lengths
Browns Baily
M F Morris
N P Madden
11st 7lbs
11 - 1
10 lengths
A King
R Thornton
11st 7lbs
16 - 1
2 1/4 lengths
On The Way Out
J E Kiely
T Doyle
11st 7lbs
33 - 1
Bally Sands
R Mathew
M Roe
11st 7lbs
100 - 1
5 lengths
Toby Belch
H D Daly
A Tinkler
11st 7lbs
80 - 1
27 lengths
Chariot Charger
Miss E C Lavelle
Jack Doyle
11st 7lbs
33 - 1
20 lengths
Western Charmer
D T Hughes
P W Flood
11st 7lbs
25 - 1
Den of Iniquity
C Llewellyn
P J Brennan
11st 7lbs
25 - 1
N A Twiston-Davies
David England
11st 7lbs
66 - 1
Picture In The Sky
M Keighley
W Marston
11st 7lbs
100 - 1
Alpha Ridge
P Nolan
A P Cawley
11st 7lbs
15 - 2



Students at Cistercian College in Roscrea, Ireland enjoyed a half-day off school to follow the exploits of the CCR Racing Club’s runner The Midnight Club, who finished third in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle.

Trainer Willie Mullins said: ‘I was delighted with him. Two or three times in the last few furlongs I thought he might just get there. He ran his heart out.

‘I’ll be looking at the four-mile chase for him next year as he gallops all day and he’s won a point-to-point so he has plenty of experience. That’s the route he’ll be taking next season.’

Owner Graham Wylie watched On Raglan Road battle home for fourth and was pleased with the six-year-old’s performance after a disrupted winter.

He said: ‘Denis said he felt a little bit weak coming into the last but he’ll be a lovely horse for next season. I think the Festival has come just a little bit too soon for some of our horses. They were held up with the snow and frost up north and they’ve come down the hill cruising and turned in and not found much.’

Ruby Walsh almost conjured up his seventh winner of this year’s Cheltenham Festival on Pride of Dulcote in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Chase. Weapon’s Amnesty had struck late to go over a length clear, but in a final-furlong surge the Walsh-driven horse reduced the deficit to just half a length.

For owner Angela Yeomans, it was a second visit to the Cheltenham winner’s enclosure in just two years. Taranis won the Ryanair Chase two years ago.

"Wasn’t it marvellous, I was thrilled to bits with him. Wait till next year when he goes chasing," said Yeomans, who currently has four horses in training and lives at Dulcote

Trainer Malcolm Jefferson was far from disillusioned by the run of Cape Tribulation in fifth. “You’d love to win but I’m not too disappointed,” said Jefferson. “He ran ga blinder but I just don’t know whether he got up that hill, he did everything right and jumped well but they go a strong pace here over three miles here and maybe he has a bit too much speed. I might pull him back to two and a half miles at Liverpool.”


Previous results

2008-WINNER-NENUPHAR COLLONGES 7-11-07 Owner-Top Brass Partnership; Trainer-Alan King; Jockey-Robert Thornton; SP-9/1
2ND-Liskennett 5-11-00 Owner- Patrick Pierce; Trainer-Charles Byrnes IRE; Jockey-Niall Madden; SP-16/1
3RD-The Tother One 7-11-07 Owner-Graham Roach; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Sam Thomas; SP-9/2 Jt Fav
18 ran, Time-6m 0.20s; Dist-2¾, ½ 9/2 Jt Fav Carruthers (11th)

2007-WINNER-WICHITA LINEMAN 6-11-07 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Jonjo O’Neill; Jockey-Tony McCoy; SP-11/8 Fav
2ND-Air Force One 5-11-07 Owner-Brian Walsh (Co Kildare); Trainer-Charlie Mann; Jockey-Noel Fehily; SP-25/1
3RD-Itsa Legend 8-11-07 Owner-The We’re A Legend Partnership; Trainer-The We’re A Legend Partnership; SP-100/1
20 ran Time-5m 43.60s; Dist-12, 6

2006-WINNER-BLACK JACK KETCHUM 7-11-07 Owner-Gay Smith; Trainer-Jonjo O'Neill; Jockey-Tony McCoy; SP-Evens Fav
2ND-Powerstation 6-11-07 Owner-Fat Frog Syndicate; Trainer-Charles Byrnes IRE; Jockey-Davy Russell; SP-9/1
3RD-Travino 7-11-07 Owner-P Kilroy; Trainer-Mags Mullins IRE; Jockey-Barry Geraghty 6/1
19 ran Time-5m 43.6s; Dist-12,6

2005-WINNER-MOULIN RICHE 4-11-00 Owner-Elite Racing Club; Trainer-Alan King; Jockey-Robert Thornton; SP-9/1
2ND-Faasel 4-11-00 Owner-Jim Ennis; Trainer-Nicky Richards; Jockey-Tony Dobbin; SP-7/1
3RD-Akilak 4-11-00 Owner-Andrea & Graham Wylie; Trainer-Howard Johnson; Jockey-Graham Lee; SP-7/2 Fav
23 ran. Time-4m 3.60s; Dist-hd, 8


1. The Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle was added to The Festival in 2005 and provides a valuable opportunity for staying novice hurdlers as it is run over three miles. Initially sponsored by Brit Insurance, it was backed by Albert Bartlett for the first time in 2008, coinciding with its upgrade to Grade One status.

2. The inaugural running went to Moulin Riche, trained by Francois Doumen in France and partnered to success by Robert Thornton. Thornton enjoyed a second success aboard the Alan King-trained Nenuphar Collonges in 2008.

3. Trainer Jonjo O’Neill and jockey Tony McCoy have combined to take the two of the last three runnings with impressive winners – Wichita Lineman, who scored by 12 lengths in 2007, and Black Jack Ketchum, a nine-length winner in 2006. Both started favourite.

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