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Poetic Rhythm confirmed for Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham

Poetic Rhythm will race over three miles for the first time under rules in the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Trainer Fergal O'Brien is favouring an outing in the Grade One contest on March 16, as opposed to the shorter Ballymore Novices' Hurdle two days earlier, in which he finished down the field last season.

The seven-year-old has been kept fresh for the showpiece fixture since striking gold at the highest level in the Challow Hurdle at Newbury in December.

O'Brien said: "He will go for the Albert Bartlett. He is progressive and he is a second-season novice and that will hold him in good stead.

"The Albert Bartlett is a brutal race over that three miles. If we can get him there fit and well he will give a good account of himself.

"He slogged it out in the Challow and it takes a good horse to do that. I think that race took him to a place he hadn't been before and we backed off him for a little bit.

"We have got him going again, he did his first piece of proper work on Saturday and he worked great. I'm delighted with him.

"He has won on all sorts of ground and he is a talented horse so we have just got to get him there in one piece now."

The Naunton handler warned that multiple Listed race winner Cap Soleil will only take her chance in the Grade Two Trull House Stud Mares' Novices' Hurdle at the Festival if conditions are suitable.

"She has won two Listed races this season and will go for the mares' novice race, but it wants to be genuine good ground. If it is good, watered, I wouldn't be keen to go with her," O'Brien added.

"If it is genuine good ground I will be looking forward to running her. I think in a fast-run race around there, she will come into her own over that two-mile-one trip."



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