Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore pulled off a 50/1 surprise in the Grade 1 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle over three miles on Friday as Minella Indo beat Gordon Elliott’s Commander Of Fleet (4/1f) by two lengths, with the Willie Mullins-trained Allaho (8/1) a further seven lengths behind in third.
Minella Indo’s price puzzled the winning trainer, who admitted:
“I couldn’t understand why we were 50/1. It was mad. He ran really well at Clonmel where he had to do all the donkey work, and he was beaten only two lengths by Alloha who was only 8/1 here. We thought we would get a stronger run race here and were keen to take the chance if he got in.”
The winning jockey, Rachael Blackmore, who rode her second winner of the week when landing the £130,630 race, follows Bryony Frost who on Thursday became the first woman rider of a Grade 1 race over hurdles or fences at the Festival, and Katie Walsh, who won last year’s Grade 1 Weatherbys Champion Bumper on Relegate. Her success was the fourth by a woman at this year’s Festival, equalling the record total of 12 months ago.
2.50pm Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)
1 Minella Indo (Barry Maloney) Henry de Bromhead IRE 6-11-05 Rachael Blackmore 50/1
2 Commander Of Fleet (Gigginstown House Stud) Gordon Elliott IRE 5-11-05 Jack Kennedy 4/1f
3 Alaho (Cheveley Park Stud) Willie Mullins IRE 5-11-05 Ruby Walsh 8/1
Distances: 2, 7
Time: 5m 57.42s