Stats Guide

Pertemps Final (Listed Handicap Hurdle)

14:05 Cheltenham Thu 15 March

Pertemps Final (Listed Handicap Hurdle) (Class 1)  (5YO plus)

Good

Winner £39,865 - 24 ran

3m

Last year’s race

Buena Vista
  • Winner: Buena Vista
  • Jockey: Conor O'Farrell (5lb)
  • Trainer: David Pipe
  • Owner: Matt Archer & The Late Miss J Broadhurst
  • Age: 10 Weight: 10st 3lb
  • Starting Price: 20/1
  • Season Form Figures: 728700
  • Previous Best: 2nd - Badger Ales Trophy, Wincanton

A handicap that has really put followers of patterns through the torture chamber recently, though the reality is that the last eight winners all starting at a double-figure price doesn’t help followers of most lines of thinking, and I would say we have to go back to Inching Closer in 2003 to find the last winner who could have been called a ‘trends horse’.

What has become increasingly apparent in recent seasons is that a different type of horse now wins the Pertemps Final than from a few years back. Seemingly gone now are the days for a well-hatched plot to come to fruition - unlike regular occurrences during the 1980s and 1990s - as the race now attracts more 140+ horses than ever before. That still hasn’t helped horses rated 150+ though as only two have notched up a top-six finish since 1997.

Grizzled, old warriors such as Buena Vista, who has won the last two renewals, can no longer be glossed over as was previously the case and in the process took the record of horses aged 9+ to six wins in the last 13 runnings (five of those being nine-year-olds).

Jonjo O’Neill and J P McManus continue to be the connections to watch having won this race three times apiece, twice with 50/1 shots.

At the other end of the scale, only one five-year-old has ever won since the race was first run back in 1974. Last-time-out winners have won ten of the last 16 renewals which is eye-catching given they took up less than 20% representation so there is one clear angle into the race. Jonjo O’Neill and J P McManus continue to be the connections to watch having won this race three times apiece, twice with 50/1 shots.

There are 18 qualifiers run during the course of the season (though five don’t really count as they take place in France and name me the last French-trained runner) but, ironically, the best guide has been not to run in any of them which was the case in 1996, 1997, 1998, 2003 and 2008 when just being declared for an abandoned qualifier was good enough.

The mild winter will probably put paid to that being the case this season. The best qualifier that has beaten the weather now takes place at Cheltenham in October which has featured three of the last seven winners of the Final followed by the Leopardstown qualifier which featured the 2005 and 2006 winners. Outside of the qualifiers, the totescoop6 Heroes Handicap Hurdle at Sandown in early February is the best guide featuring three winners in the last 12 years, two of which finished unplaced.

At a glance summary

Positives
Last-time-out winners
Contested the Cheltenham or Leopardstown qualifier
Representing Jonjo O’Neill and/or J P McManus
Don’t be afraid of chancing long shots
Ran in the totescoop6 Heroes Handicap Hurdle
Entered for an abandoned qualifier
Negatives
Five-year-olds
Officially rated 150+

Previous Winners

Year Winner Trainer Jockey Age/Wt SP
2011 Buena Vista David Pipe Conor O'Farrell (5lb) 10 10-3 20/1
2010 Buena Vista D Pipe H Frost 9 10-1 16/1
2009 Kayf Aramis Miss V Williams A Coleman 7 10-5 16/1
2008 Ballyfitz N Twiston-Davies P Brennan 8 10-8 18/1
2007 Oscar Park D Arbuthnot T Doyle 8 10-9 14-1
2006 Kadoun M J P O'Brien T G M Ryan (3) 9 11-7 50-1
2005 Oulart D T Hughes P Carberry 6 10-2 10-1
2004 Creon J O'Neill T Murphy 9 10-0 50-1
2003 Inching Closer J O'Neill B Geraghty 6 11-2 6-1f
2002 Freetown L Lungo T Dobbin 6 11-2 20-1
2001 No Race
2000 Rubhahunish N Twiston-Davies C Llewellyn 9 11-2 8-1
1999 Generosa J L Hassett N Williamson 6 10-1 12-1
1998 Unsinkable Boxer M C Pipe A P McCoy 9 10-12 5-2f
1997 Pharanear D Nicholson Mr R Thornton 7 11-9 14-1