Stay Away Fay put in a stunning run to win the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle after a brilliant performance from both Harry Cobden and Stay Away Fay. There was some drama at the final fence as favourite Corbetts Cross was coming up the inside, but decided to avoid the jump and instead collided with the post holding the hurdle.
The horse was completely fine and kept on running to the finish, but Mark Walsh on board was thrown off and had a heavy fall on the outside of the barrier. The jockey gave his ride a chance to avoid the obstacle and he took it, throwing his jockey off after a heavy blow.
Walsh was due to ride Minella Indo in the Gold Cup and but is not fit enough to take that ride. The win went to an outsider though and Stay Away Fay stunned the favourites with a win at 18/1.
"He looks fantastic,” winning trainer Paul Nicholls said. “He ran how he looked. He jumped really well. There's lots of improvement to come from him. Having had two winners now I am dead relaxed. It makes such a difference."
Meanwhile Cobden, the winning jockey added: “I could hear what happened behind me. My horse is very inexperienced, he's very green but he got his head down.
"This horse stays forever. Great for the boss."
There was almost an even bigger winner however. Affordale Fury at 150/1 ran a stupendous race and was neck and neck with the winner on the run-in, but just couldn’t get past to secure a famous win. Still, a famous place finish for one of the longest shots of the week.
Sandor Clegane came in third at 28/1 as all the favourites flopped. Three Card Brag got involved in the final stages to finish fifth while Hiddenvalleylake didn’t get going.
However, on a dramatic prelude to the Gold Cup, Stay Away Fay takes the glory.
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Corbetts Cross runs out at the last with Stay Away Fay staying on best to land the G1 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle to strike for @CobdenHarry & @PFNicholls