Drew expects Kings Palace to shine

Part-owner Harry Drew believes Kings Palace (7/2 Cheltenham 14.40 outright) will be pushing the fancied Briar Hill all the way when it comes to the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (14.40) at Cheltenham on Friday.

The six-year-old has enjoyed three wins in his last three outings, including a couple of victories at Cheltenham but it’s Briar Hill who is more fancied in the betting on the final day of the Festival.

Trainer David Pipe before the Festival suggested Kings Palace was his best chance of a winner and over the good-to-soft going and the in-form runner certainly looks set to be a contender come the business end of the race.

Drew has been pleased with King Palace’s form going into the race and feels that Briar Hill (5/4 Cheltenham 14.40 outright) won’t have it all his own way for this year’s Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle.

He said: said: “Kings Palace has looked a natural since day one. His least impressive display was at Fontwell first time out when he had to dig deep as he wasn’t quite in his rhythm that day.

“He didn’t jump as well as he can in October but he’s not a slow horse.”

Meanwhile, Pipe has been talking up his runner’s chances and is looking forward to the showdown with Briar Hill.

“I think the race probably rests between him and Briar Hill,” said Pipe. “Our horse travels well at the trip and jumps neatly, which is a big help. I thought he was my best chance at the Festival at the beginning of the week.”

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