Court In Motion has long been a leading fancy for the Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival but the word from connections is that he will need some rain before the race. Trainer Emma Lavelle has been aiming the horse at the Festival for some time now but the drying conditions at Cheltenham are no doubt worrying connections and backers with the race just over a week away. He has some good form to his name this season although he was turned over as an odds-on shot last time out at Haydock last month. That looked like a below par run behind Back In Focus on heavy ground and although he wants it quicker than that it now appears that the potential for good ground at Cheltenham could count against him in the Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle. We know he is a classy type and the trip should be no problem leaving the ground as the only thing that could go against him in the race on Gold Cup day at the Festival.
Prior to that run at Haydock, Court In Motion had been the ante-post favourite for the Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle, he has since drifted slightly with Haydock conqueror Back In Focus now being well backed. At this stage we are seeing the Nicky Henderson trained Bobs Worth at the top of the Albert Bartlett market, but he is just as likely to go to the Neptune Novices Hurdle meaning it is looking like one of the most races at the Cheltenham Festival. Another of the main contenders for the race is Champion Court who despite running poorly last time out in the Neptune Trial at Cheltenham in January, remains one of the leading candidates in the betting. Champion Court did pick up a win over the same course and distance at Cheltenham back in November ahead of the Sybarite who we know that Nigel Twiston-Davies thinks highly of so that could prove nice form. As mentioned it is an open race so should a little bit of rain arrive at Cheltenham then Court In Motion has to be the one to beat so punters could do a lot worse than catch one or two weather forecasts between now and the Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle.