2010 Byrne Group Plate Review

Cheltenham Festival Staff in Thursday 16 February 2012
CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 12: Timmy Murphy riding Great Endeavour clear the last to win The Paddy Power Gold Cup Steeple Chase at Cheltenham racecourse on November 12, 2011 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)

Another great advertisement for previous course form with the first four home having all won around here before and the fifth, Gwanako, having often saved his best efforts for this track.

Also worth noting is the fact that two novices finished first and second, while all of the first three carried very little weight.

Martin Pipe was always a man to fear in Festival handicaps and his son David has taken little time to take up that mantle and hot on the hills of Buena Vistas success in the Pertemps, GREAT ENDEAVOUR was an impressive winner of this fiercely competitive handicap.

He's been disappointing as of late, but the return to better ground obviously helped and he has now won five of his nine starts under rules. Presumably he'll be aimed at all of the big handicaps next season.

Runner up, Sunnyhill Boy, was closing fast on the winner at the death. A few poor jumps probably left him further back than his jockey would have wanted and with the winners rating likely to go up more than his the Jonjo O'Neill trained seven year old could easily reverse this form if and when the first two meet again.

From Dusk To Dawn was third. Good ground is also the key to him and he stays further.

The evergreen Mister McGoldrick defied Old Father Time once more to finish fourth. He loves these competitive handicaps and he won this in 2008. Retirement will surely now be on hold for at least another season.

Gwanako (fifth) is very consistent but is too high in the handicap at the moment.

In Compliance (sixth) threatened to become a top class chaser a few seasons ago, but his progress was halted by injury and this is his level now. The ground is often too soft for him in Ireland so it was no surprise to see him run a big race here given the underfoot conditions.

Another trend of Martin Pipe's that David seems to be following is that it is often not his most fancied runner in a Festival handicap that comes up trumps and although Im So Lucky went off nearly half the price of the winner he could only finish eighth.

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