The Pertemps Final is open to horses aged five or older. It is also run on the new course over a distance of three miles. There are twelve flights of hurdles to be jumped in what is the longest of the three handicap hurdles at the meeting.
Six of the last seven winners of the race have all been Irish trained and every one of those winners wore a tongue tie. The only horse wearing a tongue tie last year was only beaten a neck by the winner in Third Wind, so it appears to be a massive help.
Five of the recent Irish winners used the Leopardstown qualifier run over the Christmas period as a stepping stone prior to coming here.
Many of the runners use qualifiers to get into this final and a positive performance from them last time would obviously be key to doing well in this.
Previous Winners of the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle
Runners To Watch
Below are selected runners who hold entries for the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle 2023.
Karl Hedley provides some recent form notes to help point you in the right direction of identifying the winner.
THANKSFORTHEHELP – DAVID PIPE
Showed much improved form when absolutely hacking up at Chepstow in a qualifier for this race. He saw off the attentions of My Bobby Dazzler with the minimum of fuss under Kevin Brogan. That run came after a bout of wind surgery which was clearly needed.
With a much needed and confidence boosting win further improvement could not be ruled out as the further they went the better he looked. An eleven-pound rise in the ratings may not be enough to stop this David Pipe runner.
PERCEVAL LEGALLOIS – GAVIN CROMWELL
Ran in the Christmas qualifier at Leopardstown and finished fourth to the Gordon Elliott trained Maxxum. He then in a good handicap at the Dublin Racing Festival and completely reversed the form with the Elliott runner and beat him by almost fifteen lengths.
Gavin Cromwell has had his yard in good shape for a while now and this JP McManus owned six-year-old may have gone slightly unnoticed. A lack of experience around Cheltenham is obviously a concern but he is on the upgrade.
MAXXUM – GORDON ELLIOTT
Won the Leopardstown qualifier at Christmas in order to participate here and was then injured himself a little when not giving his true running behind Perceval Legallois again over the same course and distance last month.
If fully recovered he has to be high on any shortlist given his trainers’ enviable record in this race. He has improved hand over fist since joining his new yard from that of Eugene O’Sullivan and no surprise to see him bounce right back here.
THE BOSSES OSCAR – GORDON ELLIOTT
He has to come into this as one of the better handicapped horses in the race. He was a fine second in this race a couple of seasons ago off a nine-pound higher mark.
He has been lightly raced since and it has to be remembered that he pulled up in the County Hurdle last season having done so in his two previous races as well.
Seems to be edging back to good form and ran a big race at a ridiculous price at Musselburgh just last month. He is still only an eight-year-old and he can make the frame.
WALKING ON AIR – NICKY HENDERSON
Looks to be a little too inexperienced for a race of this nature despite winning the Exeter qualifier for this race. Sabrina is a good mare, but she is not top class and he only beat her by just over three lengths.
Exeter is also a very flat track and his two previous two runs came at Doncaster and Aintree which are also quite level. The undulations of this track could find him out and he would not be the most confident of selections.
SHEWEARSITWELL – WILLIE MULLINS
A winner of her last two starts including a Grade 3 Mares Hurdle at Leopardstown over the Christmas period.
Prior to that she won the Punchestown qualifier for this race and that has been a useful guide to finding winners in this before.
She is clearly in the form of her life but has the weight issue to contend with here. It would take her to improve again somewhat and deliver a career best.
STEAL A MARCH – NICKY HENDERSON
Has not failed to be in the first two in his last six starts. The most recent of those was a win in a qualifier for this race at Wincanton. He showed a determined attitude to justify favouritism when getting the better of Stellar Magic and Barbados Buck’s.
He runs in the colours of His Majesty The King and the Queen Consort. He was third here in a conditional jockeys’ handicap back in November 2020 in what was a seventeen-runner event. That experience will stand him in good stead and another that cannot be ruled out in a fascinating contest.
HECTOR JAVILEX – CHARLIE LONGSDON
Has to come into the equation because he won a handicap over this course and distance on New years’ Day beating Jet Of Magic and Abuffalosoldier.
He was beaten off this mark next time out in what was a qualifier for this that was run at Huntingdon. If his yard were in better form, he would have a much more realistic chance. He is hard to recommend based on that though.
Ticks The Right Boxes?
2023 Pertemps Handicap Hurdle Tips & Key Trends
This is as open and competitive as it gets at Cheltenham but if he can be encouraged back to anywhere near his best form, The Bosses Oscar would look to have a compelling chance.
He has been given a chance by the handicapper and is relatively lightly raced for an eight-year old. If the ground stays soft he will likely put together a fairly big run and can give Gordon Elliott another victory in this race.
Steal A March is up and coming and is worthy of respect. He has gained some experience around here in the past and could well go close to giving His Majesty a first ever Cheltenham winner.
- Gordon Elliott boasts a fantastic recent record having won three of the last five renewals
- Nine of the past eleven winners had run ten times or less over hurdles
- Eight of the last nine winners were 14/1 or shorter in the market
Odds With Paddy Power – correct at time of publication
- 5/1 Thanksforthehelp
- 13/2 Walking On Air
- 7/1 Maxxum
- 8/1 Perceval Legallois
- 8/1 An Tailliur
- 10/1 Good Time Jonny
- 10/1 The Bosses Oscar
- 20/1 Hector Javilex
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