Pertemps Final Handicap
The Pertemps Final (Handicap Hurdle) (2:05pm) is a Class A listed hurdle run over three miles. It is open to horses aged five years old and upwards who have qualified for the final. The total prize fund for 2015 is £80,000 and the race will be run on Thursday, March 12.
The Pertemps Final is another major betting heat and there are always rumours flying around that certain horses have been laid out specifically for the race. One thing that is certain, though, is that there will be a monster gamble on the morning of the race, often on an Irish runner. However, it's worth noting that there have been no single-priced winner in the last seven runnings and two in that period were priced at 50-1.
In order to participate in the race, all runners have to have competed in one of the qualifying races that are run throughout the year in Britain and Ireland. Those races do provide some form clues, but it is often not the winners that should be focused on, but those horses who might improve for running on different ground or at a different track, or who are simply better handicapped or in better form than they were when the qualifiers were run.
2014 Fingal Bay
2012 Cape Tribulation
2011 Buena Vista
2010 Buena Vista
2009 Kayf Aramis
2007 Oscar Park
2003 Inching Closer
1998 Unsinkable Boxer
1996 Great Easeby
1995 Miracle Man
1993 Fissure Seal
1992 My View
1991 Danny Connors
1990 Henry Mann
1989 Rogers Princess
(prior winners detailed at bottom of page)
2012 Pertemps Final Review
This has been a tough race for punters in recent years and they were dealt another hammer blow with the victory of CAPE TRIBULATION (14/1), who was given a superb ride by the underrated Denis O'Regan.
It was a narrow success, however, with Tony McCoy on Catch Me (14/1) throwing down a late challenge, with just three quarters of a length separating him from the winner at the line. Paul Webber's Cantlow (33/1) was a further length and a quarter away in third.
David Pipe's Buena Vista, the winner of the two previous renewals, tried once again to burn his rivals off and still led at the top of the hill, before tiring close home to finish a well beaten 13th. Age may well have caught up with him on this occasion.
Sonofvic was disputing fourth when coming down at the last, leaving Houblon Des Obeaux (33/1) to fill that position and reward his each-way backers.
2011 Pertemps Final Review
Buena Vista (20-1) recorded a sensational second consecutive victory in the Pertemps Final for David Pipe at the 2011 Cheltenham Festival.
The ten-year-old won the race last year under the hands of Hadden Frost and it was exciting 5lbs claimer Conor O'Farrell that was the delighted winning jockey in 2011.
The pair took up the running right from the word go and the Festival hero scooted four lengths clear of Son Amix (16-1) at the finishing post. Sivota (9-1) stayed on for third under Ruby Walsh with Knockara Beau 33-1 holding on for fourth.
2010 Pertemps Final Review
BUENA VISTA has been a standing dish at the Festival in recent years and he finally gained a long overdue success, at the fifth attempt, with a very game effort here. Taking it up at the fourth, he barely saw another opponent and when his young jockey kicked for home off the final bend the result was never really in doubt.
Prince Erik chased the winner home and put up a fine performance in the process given that he was carrying nearly two stone more than when he won the Leopardstown qualifier.
Chamirey, who finished third, is an out and out stayer, but enjoyed the better ground and improved for first time blinkers. He'll probably be switched to fences next season.
Cross Kenyon (fourth) was doing all of his best work at the death and was the only horse to come from the back and make an impression on the leaders. He likes this ground, but may be better on a slightly softer surface as it slows his opponents down a bit more.
Kayf Aramis (fifth) won this last year, but faced a stiff task trying to repeat the dose of a 20lb higher mark. Given that, this was a decent performance.
Smoking Aces (sixth) was well supported beforehand, partly because his connections always deserve respect here and partly because he looked likely to be suited by the step up in trip. In the end, he seemed to stay the trip fine and simply wasnt quite good enough.
Ainama was travelling as well as anything for most of the contest, but his stamina appeared to give way and he faded to finish eighth. It would be no surprise to see him drop back in trip on his next start.
Hot favourite, Alfie Sherrin, was going well enough until he made a mistake at the top of the hill, and dropped away disappointingly.
2009 Pertemps Final Review
The Pertemps Final was not only ultra competitive, it was also a rough race, with a faller on the flat on the home turn.
Of the twenty two that set out, only six really contested the finish and it was left to KAYF ARAMIS to claim the prize. He has been a reformed character in recent starts, having been winless over hurdles at the turn of the year. But he has stamina in abundance and when he hit the lead travelling well three out, he was always going to be hard to pass.
By contrast, Buena Vista’s stamina appeared to run out on the climb to the line and, having looked the likely winner two out, he was well held in the end. He often runs well here and this was an improvement on last year’s fifth in this contest.
Pennek was unlucky not to be second, having hit trouble in running turning for home. He is strong stayer, but lacks gears and can hit a flat spot in his races. He looks likely to be switched to fences next season.
The same is true of the fourth, The Sliotar, who could be an exciting prospect over the larger obstacles. He is just starting to find his form again after switching to the Pipe yard, which may have something to do with the improvement in the ground as he does enjoy a decent surface. Next season’s National Hunt Chase could be a long term target.
Green Mile (fifth) was also hampered in his efforts to close on the leader – being carried right by the weakening P’Tit Fute at the last. The slow early gallop probably meant that he was too far off the pace when the leaders quickened the pace running down the hill and he was unlucky not to make the places.
Scriptwriter (sixth) is still a maiden over hurdles, but was decent on the flat and ran well enough here to suggest it won’t be long before he breaks his duck over obstacles.
There was a decent gap back to the rest.
A return to hurdles seems to have revitalised the talented Don’t Push It (seventh) and he ran well again here under a big weight. He’ll surely go back over fences soon and is still capable of winning a big prize in that sphere.
P’Tit Flute also carried a big weight with some distinction, whilst Raslan, who eventually finished tenth, ran well having been off the track for a long time.
2008 Pertemps Final Review
Persistent rain placed the emphasis firmly on stamina in what is, in any event, a gruelling contest and it wasn’t surprising to find one of the gutsiest horses in the field, BALLYFITZ, coming out on top in the descending gloom. All he does is stays and he was happier than most on the softening ground. He may well have a another try at fences next season (he fell on his only effort over the larger obstacles to date, back in 2006) and you could see him relishing the challenge of the National Hunt Chase back here next March.
The runner up, Miko De Beauchene, has already made his name over fences, landing this season’s Welsh National, and he was bidding to take advantage here of a favourable handicap mark over hurdles. If anything, this didn’t represent a stiff enough test of stamina for the versatile eight year old and he was beaten for speed on the run to the line.
According To Pete (third) is also likely to be switched to fences next season, which is probably just as well as he has been a victim of his own consistency over hurdles recently and is handicapped to the hilt.
Mobaasher (fourth) has always been a classy sort, but he often hasn’t been the most reliable. The switch to Paul Nicholls may revitalise him and he looks well handicapped. He certainly showed here that he stays this trip, running on best of all up the hill.
Counting House put up a career best effort in seventh, especially since the rain that fell would have done him no favours.
By contrast, the performance of Robin Du Bois was a major disappointment. He looked like he had been laid out for the race in typical Tony Martin style and the punters certainly latched on to a possible coup. However, he was detached in last when the tapes went up and Paul Carberry employed exaggerated hold-up tactics from thereon in. The probability is that he doesn’t stay the trip, but we don’t know for sure given the tactics that were employed and it was a shame for his many supporters that he was never really put into the race at any time.
Dancing Tornado is the other one to take out of the race – he should be suited by a drop in trip.
2007 Pertemps Final Review
A thrilling finish, with most of the runners still in with a chance as the field bypassed the second last on the run downhill for the final time. It was here that the eventual winner OSCAR PARK took over, travelling strongly. However, he looked as though he was going to be past on the run in by Material World only to pull out more in the final 50 yards.
This was only Oscar Park’s second run for trainer David Arbuthnot, and the horse’s first success since he won his first four starts under rules in 2004/5. He may go chasing next season.
Material World seldom runs a bad race and is one of the toughest mares around. In seventeen starts she has never finished worse than fifth and has only been out of the first three twice. She lost an eye in her younger days to a fungal infection, but it has never seemed to hamper her progress up the hurdling ranks.
The incredible, evergreen Adamant Approach was third. He desperately deserves to win a race at the Festival, but he just failed again here at the fifth attempt. He was ridden to get the trip and was always travelling well towards the back of the pack. He looked the likely winner turning for home, but never quite got to the leaders, possibly because his stamina was stretched to the limit. This was arguably a career best effort at thirteen years of age.
Another Festival favourite, Rhinestone Cowboy, threatened at one point to get involved in the finish, before fading back into the pack. He came out of retirement this season having recovered better than expected from a career threatening injury, but whilst he seemed to enjoy himself here he clearly isn’t the force of old.
Last year’s winner, Kadoun was never in contention.
2006 Pertemps Final Review
For the second time in three years the race produced a shock winner, as KADOUN followed in the footsteps of another JP McManus runner, Creon, by taking the Pertemps Final at bookmaker friendly odds of 50-1.
Formerly a decent chaser, Kadoun had seemed to lose his way of late, but a return to hurdles clearly sparked a return to form. The combination of the longer trip and the decent ground were also contributing factors.
Despite being near the head of the handicap, he never looked like being caught after hitting the front two out, even though there were a host of horses still in contention at that point.
Hordago chased the winner all the way to the line and his form at Cheltenham now reads 112 from three starts.
Oodachee completed a 1-2-3 for the Irish to confound those trainers who had argued before the Festival that Irish runners were more harshly handicapped than their counterparts from the mainland.
Liberman was a fast finishing fourth to once again show a glimpse of the ability he first displayed when winning the Festival bumper in 2003. He beat the likes of Trabolgan and Cornish Rebel that day but has been plagued by inconsistency since and is hard to catch right. He absolutely flew up the hill and, having finished sixth in this race last year, seems to save his best for the Festival.
Freetown is another old stager who seems to love Cheltenham in March. He won this race in 2002 and was a very creditable fifth here, having travelled well for a long way.
Incredibly, the 2003 winner, Inching Closer, was sixth, with last year’s winner, Oulart, eighth, proving once again how valuable previous Festival form is in assessing any horse’s chances in these races. For Liberman, Freetown and Inching Closer this was by far their best performance of the season on a track they each clearly love.
Roll of Honour (1974-1988)
(recent winners detailed towards top of page)
Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer SP
1988 Pragada 5-11-00 Richard Rowe Josh Gifford Mrs M G L McGlone 16/1
1987 Taberna Lord 6-11-05 Luke Harvey Jim Wilson R Jackson 10/1
1986 Motivator 6-10-07 Graham McCourt Mick Ryan Terry Ramsden 15/2F
1985 Von Trappe 8-10-06 Richard Dunwoody Michael Oliver P Clarke 12/1
1984 Canio 7-10-09 John Francome Ron Hodges David Ladhams 20/1
1983 Forgive N'Forget 6-11-06 Mark Dwyer Jimmy FitzGerald T Kilroe Ltd 5/2F
1982 Tall Order 8-10-02 Andy Stringer Louis Foster Louis Foster 15/1
1981 Willie Wumpkins 13-10-08 Mr Jim Wilson Jane Pilkington Jane Pilkington 13/2
1980 Willie Wumpkins 12-10-07 Mr Jim Wilson Jane Pilkington Jane Pilkington 10/1
1979 Willie Wumpkins 11-10-04 Mr Jim Wilson Jane Pilkington Jane Pilkington 25/1
1978 Water Colour 9-10-01 Kevin Whyte Martin Tate J Soles 11/1
1977 Outpoint 7-11-03 Pat O'Brien Fred Winter Mrs G Abecassis 10/1
1976 Good Prospect 7-11-10 Richard Evans John Edwards T Dudley 10/1
1975 Saffron Cake 6-10-07 Eddie Wright Les Kennard P Haynes 13/1
1974 Kastrup 7-10-03 Graham Thorner David Barons Austin Darlington 10/1