Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle - Fri March 16th 2012 

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Brindisi Breeze Blasts Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle

1 Brindisi Breeze 7/1
2 Boston Bob 6/5 Fav
3 Grand Vision 25/1
20 ran Distances: 2l, 1¼l, 6l
TIME 5m 47.20s (slow by 6.20s)

Lucinda Russell, who trains north of the border at Kinross, enjoyed her first taste of success at the Cheltenham Festival when the tough Brindisi Breeze outstayed challenger Boston Bob up the hill in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle to win by two lengths.

Brindisi Breeze
© Grossick Racing Photography

Brindisi Breeze

She said: “It’s just fantastic. We’ve been trying so hard to have a winner here at the Festival. I’m delighted for [owner] Sandy Seymour. It’s his first horse but what a horse to have.

“This is what you work for. We’re always looking for horses and trying to get them into the right races. It’s great that the right race happens to be here at Cheltenham.

Paying tribute to her team, which includes her partner, the former champion jockey Peter Scudamore, Russell added: “It’s not just about me. It’s about all the lads back at home, it’s about Campbell [Gillies], who rides the horse and Sandy. It’s great for them all.

“He’s not the fastest horse in the world but he just doesn’t like others passing him. He jumps really quickly and maybe he does go on good ground as well as soft!

“Sandy Seymour came to me and said he wanted to buy a really good horse. Tom Malone bought this horse within 48 hours of winning his point-to-point.”



Brindisi Breeze provided young Scottish rider Campbell Gillies with his first Cheltenham Festival success, with a little help along the way from a rival. The six-year-old gelding was in the front rank for most of the race and leading the way as the field began to make the descent before the final uphill run.

“He was going well, pricking his ears, really quite easily,” said Gillies, “and then I heard Tom Scudamore, not far away [on Big Occasion], tell me to just hang onto his head down the hill and then kick on once I’d straightened off the bend. So I took his advice.”

Scudamore is son of Peter Scudamore, partner of Brindisi Breeze’s trainer Lucinda Russell.

Gillies, from Musselburgh, was also winning his first Grade 1 contest. “It was tough for him to go out and do it from the hard end,” said the 21-year-old. “We had been slightly worried about the faster ground, but he was taking lengths out of them at his hurdles. He’s so athletic and was electric through the air today.

“Going to the first hurdle he was pricking his ears at the noise from the stands, looking around him a bit. Going to the last he was a bit the same - he’d been in front long enough and was coming back under me a bit.

“But once he heard the other horse [Boston Bob] coming, he had enough in reserve to pick up again and go on. And although he edged right, he stuck his neck out and ran all the way to the line. A fantastic, inexpressible feeling.”


Starting Price
Beaten Distance
Brindisi Breeze
Miss Lucinda V Russell
C I Gillies
11st 7lbs
7 - 1
Boston Bob
W P Mullins
R Walsh
11st 7lbs
6 - 5
2 lengths
Grand Vision
C L Tizzard
T J O'Brien
11st 7lbs
25 - 1
1 1/4 length
A King
R Thornton
11st 7lbs
12 - 1
6 lengths
Meister Eckhart
Miss R Curtis
A P McCoy
11st 7lbs
22 - 1
1/2 length
The Druids Nephew
Andrew Turnell
Nick Scholfield
11st 7lbs
100 - 1
8 lengths
Mount Benbulben
G Elliott
P Carberry
11st 7lbs
11 - 1
1 3/4 length
Rocky Creek
P F Nicholls
D A Jacob
11st 7lbs
14 - 1
7 lengths
Fox Appeal
Miss E C Lavelle
N Fehily
11st 7lbs
18 - 1
1/2 length
Tour Des Champs
N A Twiston-Davies
S Twiston-Davies
11st 7lbs
150 - 1
3/4 length
Sivola De Sivola
T R George
P J Brennan
11st 7lbs
16 - 1
17 lengths
Miss R Curtis
Aidan Coleman
11st 7lbs
100 - 1
1 3/4 length
Dawn Commander
C E Longsdon
R Johnson
11st 7lbs
66 - 1
19 lengths
Big Occasion
D Pipe
T Scudamore
11st 7lbs
50 - 1
5 lengths
Sea Of Thunder
C Byrnes
D N Russell
11st 7lbs
9 - 1
3/4 length
Fill The Power
Mrs S J Smith
Shane Byrne
11st 7lbs
125 - 1
6 lengths
Hard To Swallow
M Keighley
A P Cawley
11st 7lbs
33 - 1
4 1/2 lengths
American Spin
L A Dace
T J Murphy
11st 7lbs
100 - 1
Ipsos Du Berlais
N Meade
D J Condon
11st 7lbs
20 - 1
The Bosses Cousin
W P Mullins
P Townend
11st 7lbs
66 - 1



Eight-time champion jockey Peter Scudamore will always be a man of Herefordshire, but he was delighted to cry out ‘Flower of Scotland’ when Campbell Gillies rode into the winner’s enclosure after winning on Brindisi Breeze.

Scudamore is partner to winning trainer Lucinda Russell, very much a Scot, who was congratulated on her win by fellow countryman Ronnie Bartlett, whose company sponsored this Grade One hurdle.

Reflecting on the triumph, Scudamore, who is analysing this week’s racing for BBC Radio 5 Live, said: “When you’re riding it’s such an individual thing, although having said that Martin Pipe and I worked very closely together. But this is very much about teamwork and I’m thrilled for Lucinda who works so hard.

“It’s also rather special when you are the underdog - when Willie [Mullins] says he’s bringing over his best novice hurdler in Boston Bob [who was second] then you do feel a little anxious.

“There have been statements in the press saying horses in the north aren’t good enough and when they find one they have to sell it, but that’s not true. We believed in ourselves and Brindisi Breeze has given us the opportunity. That’s our 48th winner of the season. We wanted 50 and I’m glad we’re getting there.”



2011-WINNER-BOBS WORTH 6-11-07 Owner-The Not Afraid Partnership; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-15/8 Fav
2ND-Mossley 5-11-07 Owner-Michael Buckley; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-A P McCoy; SP-12/1
3RD-Court In Motion 6-11-07 Owner-Nick Mustoe; Trainer-Emma Lavelle; Jockey-Jack Doyle; SP-9/1
18 ran, Time-5m 42.20s; Dist-21⁄4, 6

2010-WINNER-BERTIES DREAM 7-11-07 Owner-Half A Keg Syndicate; Trainer-Paul Gilligan IRE; Jockey-Andrew Lynch; SP-33/1
2ND-Najaf 5-110-7 Owner-The Johnson & Stewart Families; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Timmy Murphy; SP-25/1
3RD-Kennel Hill Owner-Peter & Lisa Hall; Trainer-Keith Goldsworthy; Jockey-Jason Maguire; SP-66/1
19 ran, Time-5m 55.60s; Dist-6, 8 100/30 Fav Tell Massini (PU)

2009-WINNER-WEAPON'S AMNESTY 6-11-07 Owner-Gigginstown House Stud; Trainer Charles Byrnes IRE; Jockey-Davy Russell; SP-8/1
2ND-Pride Of Dulcote 6-11-07 Owner-Angela Yeoman; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-3/1 Fav
3RD-The Midnight Club 8-11-07 Owner-C C R Racing Syndicate; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Emmet Mullins; SP-14/1
17 ran, Time-5m 59.90s; Dist-½, 2

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 by Robert Thornton. Thornton enjoyed a second success aboard the Alan King-trained Nenuphar Collonges in 2008.

3. Trainer Jonjo O’Neill and jockey A P McCoy combined to take two consecutive 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.

4. Weapon’s Amnesty became the first Irish-trained winner of the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle in 2009, taking the spoils for trainer Charles Byrnes and jockey Davy Russell. He returned to The Festival in 2010 to win the RSA Chase. Berties Dream doubled the Irish tally when scoring in 2010.

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