2020 Pertemps Final tips – Two tips for day three handicap

A full field of runners line up at the start of the Cheltenham Festival

A full field of runners line up at the start of the Cheltenham Festival

2020 Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle Tips

Jon Vine takes a look through the entries for this handicap hurdle on day three of the Cheltenham Festival and provides readers with his 2020 Pertemps Final tips.

The opening handicap on St Patrick’s day at the Cheltenham Festival is the Pertemps Final, a thrilling handicap hurdle run over three miles. This handicap hasn’t endeared itself to me during my tipping career, having hit the crossbar in agonising fashion with both Barney Dwan and Glenloe with my Cheltenham Festival tips in recent seasons.

I’ve looked back on recent runnings of this handicap and highlighted three key trends. I then cast my eye through the current list of entries and picked out Two Pertemps Final Handicap tips.

Key Trends

  • Only two of the last 20 winners had won a recognised Pertemps Qualifier
  • All of the last ten winners had run at least once over three miles
  • Nine of the last ten winners were rated between 138 and 148

A Swipe At The Irish

The British often scoff when the Irish complain about the way our handicappers treat their horses at the Cheltenham Festival. However, a look at the ratings some of the leading raiders have been handed in this year’s Pertemps Final will only add fuel to that particular fire, as well as the Pertemps Final tips.

Ronald Pump, rated 150 in his homeland, has been lumbered with top-weight after our handicapper deemed him a 156-rated hurdler. Last year’s winner, Sire Du Berlais had dropped down to 149 after his fourth at Warwick. Yet, Gordon Elliott’s champion has been pushed back up to 152 on his return to Cheltenham, some seven-pounds higher than the mark of 145 he carried to victory 12 months ago.

A Great View and Tout Est Permis will carry ratings five and seven pounds higher than their official marks if they were to take their chance on day three. Even former Champion Bumper winner Relegate, who managed to finish fourth on her only outing of the season in a qualifier at Punchestown, enters with a rating five pounds higher than her official mark of 132.

The Storyteller Punchestown Growise

The Storyteller winning a Grade One at Punchestown in April 2018.

2020 Pertemps Final Tips – Tip One

Another Irish challenger who’s been treated rather harshly is THE STORYTELLER (7/1 William Hill), who’s official rating has been upped from 142 to 149 by the British handicapper. However, Gordon Elliott’s former Festival winner remains some nine-pounds short of his chasing rating and I’m still prepared to side with this obvious plot job.

As a novice, The Storyteller powered home to win the Brown Advisory Plate on the New Course here at Cheltenham. He then captured a fortuitous Grade One triumph in a chaotic renewal of the Growise at that year’s Punchestown Festival. Although he struggled for large portions of last season, Elliott’s nine-year-old was still only beaten seven lengths in the Irish Gold Cup and grabbed a place as Kemboy beat Al Boum Photo at Punchestown back in April.

A return to hurdling followed at Clonmel in December, where The Storyteller comfortably saw off two future winners in securing an overdue victory. Davy Russell, who will ride The Storyteller at Cheltenham, then gave his mount a masterful ride at Leopardstown, nursing The Storyteller around and booking his spot in the Pertemps Final with a sixth-place finish.

Gordon Elliott has an excellent recent record in the Pertemps, evident in the Pertemps Final tips. All of the last four winners of this handicap finished fourth, fifth or sixth in that qualifier at Leopardstown over Christmas, and The Storyteller has clearly been laid out for this. His current price of 7/1 could halve in the week leading up to the Festival. The Storyteller is a confident Cheltenham Festival tips.

One For The Team Newbury

One For The Team hacks up in impressive fashion at Newbury.

2020 Pertemps Final Tips – Tip Two

Phoenix Way clearly has bundles of ability and was much better value for his win at Huntingdon than the margin of victory suggests. That being said, the record qualifying race-winners have is firmly against Harry Fry’s charge. Plus, I can’t bring myself to back Phoenix Way on the back of just one seasonal outing.

Stoney Mountain ran out an impressive winner of the Grade Three Handicap on Betfair Chase day at Haydock earlier in the season. He looks well-treated running off 142. However, there’s another who enters the fray with that same rating who appeals to me more, and that’s ONE FOR THE TEAM, who wagers in as a 20/1 pick in our Cheltenham free bet offers, provided by Ladbrokes.

Nick Williams’ charge proved to be a bit of a nearly-horse during the first half of the campaign. Hitting the frame in a maiden at Worcester, a competitive handicap at Newbury, and again in a Pertemps Qualifier at Warwick. One For The Team made up for those near-misses in fine style at Newbury in February, bolting up in an effortless fashion to beat Dolphin Square by 14-lengths.

One For The Team has been pushed up the ratings by 12 pounds on the back of that triumph, and Williams does have the option of the Albert Bartlett. Yet, One For The Team ticks practically every box for the Pertemps Final and I think this consistent six-year-old will relish the challenges posed by Cheltenham racecourse. I’m sure One For The Team will be one of the more popular each-way Pertemps Final tips. 20/1 is a magnificent price!