David Pipe Cheltenham Team
David Pipe may have some way to go before reaching the same heights his father Martin achieved at the Cheltenham Festival but, with 14 Festival winners since 2007, he’s already proved the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree.
He recorded two winners at last year’s Festival with Un Temps Pour Tout in the Ultima Handicap Chase and Moon Racer in the Bumper, and those two are again set to spearhead David Pipe’s 2017 Cheltenham Festival Team.
Champers On Ice
The way he stayed-on to be third in last season’s Albert Bartlett suggested he’s blessed with abundant stamina, and it would be no surprise if he ended-up in the Grand National one day. However, for now, he holds entries in both the RSA Chase and the National Hunt Chase, with the 4-miles of the latter option looking to offer him his best chance of victory. Has already gained vital experience of Cheltenham over fences this season, and he looks to have a solid each-way chance if he turns-up.
Lightly-raced since winning the Festival Bumper two-years-ago in taking style, and there was plenty of stable confidence for him that day judging off the money for him. He’s already shown good from this season over hurdles over 2-miles at Cheltenham, accounting for Betfair Hurdle winner Ballyandy for the second time this season in doing so. He’s entered in both the Supreme Novice Hurdle (6/1) and the Champion Hurdle (25/1) and, though the Supreme Novice Hurdle looks there for the taking this season, connections may think the Champion Hurdle is a viable option with a horse that’s already an 8-year-old. Obviously a high-class individual and, as he’s probably Pipe’s best chance of a Festival winner this year, he’s probably worth a bet wherever he ends-up.
A juvenile hurdler who is entered in both the Triumph Hurdle and the juvenile handicap hurdle (the Fred Winter). He was runner-up to Fidux on his debut and, as that one has been well-beaten by Master Blueyes since, the Fred Winter Handicap looks the more likely target, with Pipe stating that the ground can’t be soft enough for him.
Ran some excellent races over hurdles and on the flat before having his attention switched to fences this season. He didn’t look an absolute natural at first, but looked much better when last seen, and he has a number of options including the Arkle and the Grand Annual. Connections will surely give taking Altior on in the Arkle a miss though, especially as his chase rating is identical to the mark he was an impressive winner off over hurdles last season.
Un Temps Pour Tout
The Stayers’ Hurdle is a possible option for last year’s Ultima Handicap Chase winner, and he was impressive at Aintree over the smaller obstacles earlier in the season at Aintree. Not really cut must mustard in races like the Hennessey this season, and handicapper may not have given him enough respite to repeat last year’s win in a race in which there will undoubtedly be better handicapped horses.