1.55 Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle
Thursday 18 March | Age: 5yo+ | Prize: £100,000
The Pertemps Final is another typically competitive handicap race at the Cheltenham Festival. This Grade 3 (formerly a listed race) is run on the New Course over three miles.
So far this year the run up to this race has been a series of disappointments for me.
Initially I was with Honest Vic but he was scratched at the five day stage and then I jumped ship to Dalton Highway who has now been scratched at the final two day declaration stage.
It's money back for me on both of those and back to the drawing board we go.
I think now is the time to keep things simple. The most likely winner to me is THE BOSSES OSCAR and I'm amazed we're still getting 7-1 about him at the time of writing.
They have jocked up young Jordan Gainford who by all accounts is a decent young claimer and will take a very handy 7lbs off the weight after the handicapper wasn't too kind.
That moves him down from top weight to the middle of the pack. The horse was given a big weight for good reason – he has Cheltenham form (only beaten 2.5 lengths in the Martin Pipe last year) and has been campaigned for this race all season whilst finishing in the top two on all three runs.
I would make him a much shorter price for this so we can have a cheeky each way bet with the extra places available. I don't think I need to complicate things any more than that.
Voice of Value's Pertemps Network Final Tip
- The Bosses Oscar 2pt ew at 7-1 with Paddy Power (5 places)
CHAMPAGNE PLATINUM caught the eye at Haydock when given a lot to do. A mistake two out cooked his goose but the seven-year-old grey looks well enough treated to get involved for the JP McManus/Nicky Henderson combo.
He was sent off joint favourite to land last year’s Kim Muir Chase (seventh) but seems happier horse racing over the smaller obstacles.
The Leopardstown qualifier over Christmas is usually a reliable barometer and runner-up The Bosses Oscar is fancied to overturn form with surprise winner Dandy Mag, well beaten on his next start.
The Bosses Oscar looked a bit unlucky when hampered (fifth) in last season’s 2m 4f Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle and this longer distance will be right up his street. Denise Foster is taking 7lb off his back by booking inexperienced conditional rider Jordan Gainford, which is a risky tactic.
Mrs Milner finished fourth in that Leopardstown festive qualifier but finds herself 12lb better off with The Bosses Oscar, which makes the mare of interest. She also boasts course form, having chased home On The Blind Side here last November.
Best of the home team may be Imperial Alcazar. He has gone up 8lb for bagging the Warwick qualifier – a race which has gone to previous Final winners Holywell and Sire Du Berlais – but that rise may under-estimate his talent. Soft ground is perfect.
Southfield Harvest, a doughty stayer, possesses plenty of solid form, especially on testing ground.
Spiritofthegames has performed very well in the past at the Festival and could hit the frame at tasty odds.
Thommo's Pertemps Network Final Tip
- Champagne Platinum 6/1 (Casumo)
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