Cheltenham Festival 2015: Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle preview (14:40)
Irish trainer Gordon Elliott does well with his runners at the Festival, and No More Heroes can provide him with another success in the Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle (14:40).
The six-year-old created a huge impression when winning two bumpers last year, easily beating the highly regarded Milsean at Naas before following up in facile fashion at Punchestown.
No More Heroes looked a potential top notch prospect when going hurdling, and confirmed that view when beating Shaneshill in a Grade 2 contest over 2m 4f at Naas on his seasonal reappearance.
The gelding stayed on strongly to score 1 3/4 lengths, and the runner-up ran a cracker earlier in the week when finishing second behind Douvan in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle to give the form a very strong look.
No More Heroes has had just one run since that success, and could finish only fifth to Outlander in a Grade 2 affair at Leopardstown when sent off the heavily-backed 11/8 favourite.
However, the son of Presenting scoped badly after the race and was clearly not at his best, but I am more than prepared to put a line through that effort.
Elliott reports No More Heroes to be in tip top shape going into this and the step up to 3m looks sure to suit.
Judged on his beating of Shaneshill, No More Heroes looks the one they all have to beat. His biggest danger, and best of the home team, could well be Value At Risk.
This gelding was not far off the best bumper horses last year when trained in Ireland by Philip Fenton, with his runs including an excellent 2 3/4 length third to Shaneshill in a Grade 1 contest at the Punchestown Festival.
The six-year-old subsequently joined Dan Skelton, and looked a hurdler with enormous potential when scoring on his debut for his new handler at Newbury.
Son of Kayf Tara, Value At Risk jumped well throughout and after taking up the running at the third pulled effortlessly clear two from home to beat Foryourinformation by 22 lengths.
The runner-up is a well-regarded sort who has come out and won since to give the form a boost, and it was an immensely taking performance by Value At Risk on his first run for 231 days.
Value At Risk was then far from disgraced last time out when a 3/4 length runner-up to Ordo Ab Chao in a Grade 2 contest over 2m 4f at this venue, when he arguably should have been ridden more positively, and the step up in trip at Cheltenham this afternoon is a big plus.