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Boulta winner Chris's Dream books Cheltenham ticket

Boulta winner Chris's Dream books Cheltenham ticket

Since its introduction to the Cheltenham Festival programme, the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle is a race which has been claimed by Irish point-to-point graduates in three of the last six years, and a strong team is being assembled for the 2018 renewal.

Chris’s Dream is the latest to throw his name into the cap of potential winners following a dominant display to claim the Grade 3 Surehaul Mercedes-Benz Novices’ Hurdle.

The winner of a four-year-old maiden at Boulta on his first start between the flags for Gerry Mangan and Eugene O’Sullivan, the Mahler gelding was sent to the Tattersalls Ireland Cheltenham December sale before Christmas following his success in a maiden hurdle at Limerick.

Purchased for £175,000 by Tom Malone, the now six-year-old joined the Henry de Bromhead yard, for whom he was having first start for at the Tipperary venue on Tuesday, and now carrying the colours of Robcour, the bay gelding made much of the running in the three-mile contest.

Picking-up the running under Mark Wash after jumping the second flight, Chris’s Dream extended further and further clear as the race developed, and by the finishing line, he had an almighty advantage of 64-lengths built up over his five rivals.

The Lalor team picked-up some valuable black type for their former champion point-to-point mare as Carrigeen Acebo stayed-on late in the hands of the six-times champion lady point-to-point rider Liz Lalor, whilst Bellharbour final fence faller, Burren Life, completed a clean sweep of the placings for pointing graduates in the €37,500 contest.

Following the success, Chris’s Dream was shortened to as low as 12/1 for Grade 1 contest at next month’s Festival, which his trainer told AtTheRaces following his success would be his next target.

“Delighted! Mark (Walsh) was brilliant on him and it was a real good performance.

“It looked at Limerick when he won over 2m 3f that he was struggling all the way up the back to go with them and then he stayed-on really well beating a horse of ours. So we said we would give the three-miles a go and learn more.

“He is in the Albert Bartlett and the owner has bought his horses to go to these places so I think we are entitled to get there after that. Monalee won it and he was second in the Albert Bartlett so I think we will give it ago.”

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