Albert Bartlett River Don Novices’ Hurdle 2019 Horse Racing Preview & Tip

The River Don Novices’ Hurdle (Saturday 26 January) was first run in 1991, with the name of Albert Bartlett added later for sponsorship reasons. The race is run at Doncaster over 3 miles and 84 yards, with horses having to jump 11 hurdles.

It is open to horses aged four and older and notable winners include Cab On Target, Barton, Neptune Collonges, Tees Components, and Barters Hill.

10-Year-Trends for Albert Bartlett River Don Novices’ Hurdle

  • Winners have been aged five, six or seven
  • Paul Nicholls has trained two of the last 10 winners
  • Winners have carried between 11-5 and 11-10
  • Three favourites and one joint-favourite have won
  • SP’s of the winners have ranged from 2/5 to 8/1

The Main Contenders

Commodore Barry

Experienced six-year-old who has won three of his six runs over hurdles, the latest of which was a course and distance handicap off a mark of 132. Raised to a mark of 138 for that win and that gives him every chance with the potential for more improvement to come. His trainer Kim Bailey also has an excellent record at Doncaster. ]

Truckers Lodge

This Paul Nicholls’ trained seven-year-old is another who comes here having already run in handicap hurdles. He won his penultimate race off a mark of 123, but was beaten last time off a mark of 136. Raised a further 6lb for that effort, his current form is not far off the best of these, but it will be disappointing if one of the less exposed horses doesn’t improve past him.


Another horse trained by Paul Nicholls and this one reverted from handicap chases to win a novice hurdle last time. Was fully entitled to win that race though and the majority of his form leaves him with something to find.

Aye Aye Charlie

Experienced horse that ran in some of the best novice hurdles around last season including finishing seventh at the Cheltenham Festival and fourth at the Grand National Meeting. Broke his duck at prohibitive odds of 1/12 two starts ago and didn’t look to stay on his first attempt at three-miles last time out.


Highly-regarded by his young up and coming trainer Olly Murphy, who pitched him into Grade 1 company last time at Newbury in the Challow Hurdle. He got within four-lengths of the useful Champ that day, whilst both the second and third home are also well thought of. Looks like he could appreciate the step up to three-miles and is less-exposed than the market leaders.

Albert Bartlett River Don Novices’ Hurdle 2019 Summary & Tip

This doesn’t look the strongest renewal of the River Don Novices’ Hurdle, with the front three in the early markets having already run in handicaps. Commodore Barry and Truckers Lodge are proven at the distance but, with them looking quite exposed, it could be worth taking a chance that the more lightly-raced Brewin’upastorm can improve past them both now he steps up in trip.

Tip: Brewin’upastorm.

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