Pertemps Final Hurdle Tips - 2:10pm Cheltenham

2020 Pertemps Final Preview

The Pertemps Final is the only race at the Festival where the horses needed to run in a qualifier to earn their place here on the big day. A top six spot is required in any of the heats that take place during the season in England, Ireland and France.

The race, being over three miles, really does test the horse’s stamina and it’s not surprising that horses carrying less than 11st have a good record as well as those that have won over this trip before. A less obvious stat is that only two of the last twenty winners actually won a qualifier, suggesting that the trainer’s leave something to work on so they have a few pounds in hand of the handicapper.

It wasn’t that long ago that the Pertemps was one of the poorest as far as Irish runners are concerned, they only had two winners from 2000 to 2015. All that has changed now with the raiders taking the last four renewals and saddling four of the first five home in 2019.

Last year’s winner Sire Du Berlais trained by Gordon Elliott for JP McManus is in the line-up, he qualified with a fourth at Warwick in January. He only just scraped into the race last year so form leading up to the race can be taken with a pinch of salt, he will be ready to perform on the day.

Elliott will be hoping that lightning can strike twice with his other main hope The Storyteller, he like Sire De Berlais last year qualified by finishing sixth in the Leopardstown heat in February. He had earlier won over this trip at Clonmel and is very well handicapped over hurdles compared to his chase mark.

Young trainer Olly Murphy has an interesting runner in Skandiburg. The 6yo won a couple of weak novice hurdles last season but had failed to live up to his trainers hopes when taking on better opposition. This season handicaps and stepping up to three miles has been the key to success with victories at Aintree and here at Cheltenham over this trip and track.

He goes on any ground and won here in testing conditions so stamina looks to be his strength, 6yo’s have a good record in the race so ticks a lot of boxes.

Nicky Henderson won this race with Call The Cops back in 2015 and his Welsh Saint will have plenty of supporters. He had three races in novice company before going into handicaps for the first time at Haydock last month. It was also the first time he had gone over three miles.

You get the feeling this was plan ‘B’ to some extent, his third in Listed company here on New Year’s Day was probably the race that told the trainer he wouldn’t be good enough to contest the big Novice races and it was handy to have this race in mind.

He went to Haydock and beat Silver Eclipse by a length and a quarter off a mark of 134, he could well have more to offer now going over longer trips.

Philip Hobbs saddles the ex-French hurdler Jatiluwih who is owned and ridden by David Maxwell. He won his first four novice races in good style and then improved further with a win on his handicap debut here over 2m5f, he won that off 137 and beat a decent sort in Falco Blitz in the process.

Last time out he ran in a qualifier on Boxing Day at Wincanton and put up a decent performance to finish second to Third Wind, he ran off 146 that day in heavy ground and I think they may be more improvement now stepping to 3 miles.

The 2018 Champion Bumper winner Relegate is worth looking at, he was trained by Willie Mullins back then but has since moved to Colm Murphy. He reappeared after 382 days off to run a very eye-catching race at Punchestown when a staying on 4th only beaten 6 ½ lengths. He travelled really well that day and can only improve and if he's anything like back to his old form he could go well at a decent price. Paul Townend

Noel Meade runs Tout Est Permis who gets in here with just 10st 10lbs to carry, he qualified at Leopardstown at the Dublin Festival by finishing fourth in that very competitive heat won by Treacysenniscorthy. He has since ran in the Red Mills Chase at Gowran but failed to fire on that occasion and remains very well handicapped over hurdles compared with his chase mark.

Flat trainer Highie Morrrison has an interesting runner in Third Wind, he's only had five starts over hurdles and has won four of them. Last time out he won on his handicap debut in the Pertemps qualifier at Wincanton, that day he beat the useful Jatiluwih by a lengths and a quarter and has only been rasied 4lbs for this race. Obviously he's yet to meet opponents of this calibre but is clearly going the right way.

Finally its worth mentioning the veteran of the race Unowhatimeanharry who at the age of 12 remains a very good hurdler and is still rated 150. He won at Punchestown last May and was second at Leopardstown in a Grade 1 at the Christmas meeting. It would be a very popular result if he could roll back the years and Aidan Coleman takes the ride.

Punters Lounge Tip: Relegate EW 20/1 at William Hill - Click Here To Bet
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