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2019 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Hurdle tips - Two against the field for the Cheltenham Festival finale

Brian Healy in Tips 14 Mar 2019

Brian Healy gives his two against the field for the final race of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival, the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle.

The final race of the Cheltenham Festival is the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle, and the finale represents one last chance to get out of the Festival in profit.

A fiercely competitive contest restricted to conditional riders, this 2m 4f contest gets underway at 5.30pm and brings the curtain down on another fantastic four days of top-class racing action. A maximum field of 24 runners will face the starters’ tape, each bidding to land the near-£45,000 first prize for connections.

Introduced in 2009 and named after the legendary jumps trainer, honours between UK and Irish trainers are largely even, with home-based trainers saddling five winners to the Irish’s four; and Willie Mullins has been responsible for three of them.

This race can often through up a smart future chaser, with past winners including Pause and Clause, Sir Des Champs, Attaglance, Don Poli and Killultagh Vic.

Brian Healy takes a look through the potential entries for the race and highlights two against the field who could run a big race if lining up.

Gordon Elliott won this race twelve months ago with Champagne Classic, and the Meath handler could strike again with his DALLAS DES PICTONS (5/1, William Hill) who has shown very progressive form over hurdles since finishing fourth on his debut at Naas behind Borderline Chatho.

A smart bumper performer in France for Alain Couetil previously, rounding off his time there with a pair of wins at Loudeac and Le Pin au Haras, the Spanish Moon gelding stepped up on that Naas fourth to find only the potentially high-class City Island too strong at Leopardstown on Boxing Day.

But, stepping up in trip next time he ran out a ready ten lengths’ victor over Lighthouse Warrier at Punchestown prior to following up back at Leoaprdstown last time, beating Calie Du Mesnil by a neck.

He showed a really willing attitude to register that success, leading the field turning in and then battling to victory where he was all-out to hold off his challengers. That was over three miles, but he has shown good versatility over a range of trips, finding City Island too good over two miles before winning at this trip.

While both wins have come on good ground, he won a French bumper on heavy ground so underfoot conditions are unlikely to faze him, and while he probably needs to find a shade more from this mark he can continue his progression to post another solid effort.

Paul Nicholls meanwhile has two wins in this race to his name, and the Ditcheat handler could hold solid claims of a third success in the race with IF YOU SAY RUN (33/1, William Hill) who has proven to be a tough and consistent performer.

A winner of a point to point and a Chepstow bumper, the Mahler mare only once finished outside the top two in starts last term, pulled up at Newbury behind Roksana in a Grade Two mares’ novices’ contest.

Previous runs to that disappointment had seen her score twice and make the frame on three other occasions which included behind Midnight Tune in the Jane Seymour Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle; and she returned from a break to get off the mark for the season at the first attempt, beating Litterale Ci at Wincanton.

She has made the frame in all three subsequent outings without managing to add to her tally; but she found only Jester Jet too strong latest in a Listed race at Haydock. That was a decent effort and there could still be better to come. 

The handicapper has eased her 2lbs in the weights, and while she still possibly could be vulnerable off this mark her consistency is noteworthy and she ought to continue to give a good account. 

2019 MARTIN PIPE HURDLE TIPS - TWO AGAINST THE FIELD


DALLAS DES PICTONS (5/1, William Hill), IF YOU SAY RUN (33/1, William Hill

Discover all of our Cheltenham tips and see who to bet on in every race at this year's Festival. For coverage of the last day of racing, see our Cheltenham day 4 tips for all the action on Gold Cup day. 

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2019 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Hurdle tips - Two against the field for the Cheltenham Festival finale

Brian Healy gives his two against the field for the final race of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival, the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle.

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