The Pertemps Final handicap may not been seen as the top-race for the staying hurdlers at the Cheltenham Fsetival, that is held by the World Hurdle, but it still produces some fascinating racing for both punters and purists.
For a horse to qualify for the race they need to take part in one of the eight qualifier races which take place during the run-up to the Festival.
The handicap hurdle does have the bragging rights of having produced a Cheltenham Gold Cup winner in the past. Forgive ’N’ Forget beat a field of 22 in 1983 before going on to land the Gold Cup two years later.
The standard of the race has increased over time and that is seen by the last eight winners all starting at a double-figure prices.
Pertemps Final Tips
David Pipe has an excellent record in this race and his horse, Our Father looks to be taking all the money in the Pertemps Final at a backable 8/1. Don’t forget we have negotiated an increased free bet of £100/€100 from Paddy Power for all visitors of Footybunker.com to spend on any race at Cheltenham! Claim here!
In the past, trainers could enter low rated horses in the 120’s and probably sneak into the bottom of the weights but with now 140-150 rated runners taking a stab at the race the all-round quality has gone through the roof and made it harder for a well-handicapped sort from the bottom of the weights to land the spoils.
The perfect example of this higher standard of winners is put forward by Buena Vista, who became only the second horse to win the race more than once last season – after Willie Wumpkins (1979 and 1980).
David Pipe’s charge won the race off 133 in 2010 before defending his title a year later when showing he was able to deal with a 5lbs rise. Many had expected Pipe to take the race with his supposed first-string Chartreux but Buena Vista upstaged his younger stable mate as he is whizzed around Prestbury Park from the front under a canny ride by Conor O’Farrell. He should be back to try and match Willie Wumpkins achievement of winning three on the bounce this season, however he has looked woefully out of form this season and it would take a big ask.
As with all Cheltenham handicaps finding a horse who looks one step ahead of the handicapper is a wise ploy to keep on-side when punting at the Festival.
It would be rude not to be mention the chances of Buena Vista when talking about potential winners of this year’s Pertemps, although he doesn’t look anywhere near well handicapped. David Pipe’s heroic stayer won the race off 133 in 2010 before defending his title a year later when showing he was able to deal with a 5lbs rise and became the second multiple winner in the race’s history – Willie Wumpkins was the other in (1979, 1980 and 1981).
Pipe’s charge has been well below par this season thus far, being beaten an aggregate of over 300 lengths on his four starts but the handicapper seems scared of dropping his mark too low especially with Cheltenham round the corner. Despite his dreadful performances the 11-year-old is still 4lbs higher than when he won this race year. Strictly on form-book purposes he’s got it all to win the race for the third consecutive season do stranger things have happened. Write him off at your peril.
Pipe’s first string this season however, looks to be six-year-old Our Father, whose profile suggests he could be one to follow in the footsteps of the yard’s previous talented hurdlers Grands Crus and Dynaste. He won on his handicap debut in battle-hardened style at Ascot and looks to have been laid out especially for a crack at the big-race handicap. Watch out for any market moves on the day as the Pipe’s have a notorious reputation with horses of this king in Festival handicaps.