Trainer David Pipe has decided that Ramses De Teillee will take his chances at the Cheltenham Festival before he heads to the 2020 Grand National. The eight-year-old is going to be aimed at the Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle which takes place on day four. For those of you doing the maths, that’s just three weeks before Aintree.

While Ramses De Teillee may be one of our Grand National tips, there’s no doubt that the Albert Bartlett is an excellent chance for a Grade One win. This season he has run three times over hurdles and won all of them. All were at least 3m or more and includes a win at Cheltenham in October.

Pipe said: “We were always going to take advantage of his novice hurdle status at some point, but we could never have dreamt it would have worked out this well.

“We tweaked his wind after he was beaten over fences and he seemed to come back an even better horse, as they were good performances at Haydock and Doncaster.

“He doesn’t mind the big occasion, he jumps and stays well and he is rated 151 which puts him in the top five novice hurdlers, so that tells you he must have a chance.

“The only negative would be if it dries up during the week, as though he goes on better ground, he is better on soft ground. However, he has lots of positives.”

Bookmakers have his odds at a general 12/1 for the Albert Bartlett. But he will have tough competition not least from race favourite, Thyme Hill.

Ramses De Teillee Grand National 2020

This year sees connections take a different route with Ramses De Teillee. He did go in last year’s National but pulled-up under jockey David Noonan. Given that he was only 7yo, I imagine it was more to see how he took the race rather than an actual attempt to win it.

That said, he was giving a good account of himself until a mistake at the 23rd fence. Then his rein broke and after that, there was absolutely no chance he could continue. Prior to the race, he had run at Haydock in February in the Grand National Trial Handicap Chase where he finished 2nd.

So will a trip to Cheltenham so close to the Grand National 2020 scupper his chances? He genuinely is the type of horse that doesn’t seem to need much time between races. His back-to-back wins this season were within three weeks of each other. However, they were over hurdles which are less strenuous than the Grand National fences.

A lot of the decisions about Aintree will come down to how well Ramses De Teillee performs at Cheltenham. He’s a fine chaser who goes well over the longer distances and was second in the Welsh National in 2018. If it rains in Liverpool before the National on April 4th, remember that Ramses De Teillee loves the ground soft and could run a great race.