The handicaps don’t get any easier at Cheltenham but we three massive ones to get stuck into on day three of the festival. Here are the main contenders:
2.10 Cheltenham (Pertemps Final) 3m
Just behind the selection at Aintree and ran a very similar race last time out at Newbury. Solid contender, consistent and will undoubtedly be popular for each-way punters.
Stays really well so shouldn’t struggle in the conditions, not out of the first three this season and has earned his place as one of the market leaders going into the race.
Louis’ Vac Pouch
An improving 6yo who comes into the race in top form and can even take another step forward in this race. Richard Johnson knows his way around here and could steer home another Cheltenham winner.
Sort It Out
Surprise third at 40/1 last time but had reached that level of form before it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that he runs a big one here.
As always, the Pertemps is competitive and finding the winner will not be easy but there is plenty in favour of Phillip Hobbs’ LOUIS’ VAC POUCH who won so well at Aintree and who is still getting better. Each-way shouts Glenloe, Forza Milan and Sort It Out can all go well and are all sure to be poplar in the betting ring.
4.10 Cheltenham (Stable Plate) 2m5f
Showed improvement on his stable debut for David Pipe and there could be more to come. The trouble is that he never got into the race that day in terms of being able to win it so needs a better early position today.
Showed huge improvement to win easily at Leopardstown last time out and although there is a danger the form isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, another run like that would surely mean victory here even off 12lbs higher.
Probably wants the ground to dry up some more but definitely has class and is totally unexposed in handicap chases.
Hasn’t always jumped the best up to now.but seems well enough handicapped if putting his best foot forward when it counts.
Won at last year’s festival and will be popular on that score, however the ground was better that time and this may be just too big a slog.
Not representing one of the biggest stables nor ridden by one of the superstar jocks; LAST GOODBYE’s price may well be upgraded and that can’t be a bad thing. Every chance.
5.30 Cheltenham (Kim Muir Challenge Cup) 3m2f
Non-runner the last twice but for different reasons and it seems everything is OK now. Won the Pertemps in 2016 and was 5th in this last year so has rock solid festival form.
Handles very soft ground, back from a wind operation recently (though debate still goes on over how much this helps), with the only negative being that his best form has not been this season. If the op has worked, he will be extremely well handicapped in my opinion and must go well.
Off the track for a year since running very close in this race when second to Domesday; he’s dangerous to discount given that form but the enforced absence cannot be seen as a positive.
Stays well and is gradually getting better and that’s a great combo. The handicapper is fully aware of his ability though and that may just hinder him against some less exposed types.
If I’d found any reason to think MISSED APPROACH was about to find last season’s form and perhaps resume improvement I’d have wanted to back him anyway, so taking a chance on the recent wind surgery having worked I’ll be taking the 10/1 widely on offer about Warren Greatrex’s eight-year-old. The yard seem confident of a big run, though Sugar Baron and Mall Dini are outstanding candidates too.