David Pipe believes Ramses De Teillee ticks plenty of boxes ahead of his Grade One debut in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
The talented chaser – who holds an entry in next month’s Randox Health Grand National at Aintree – will look to maintain his unbeaten record over hurdles this season by giving Pipe a first victory in the three-mile contest.
Although beaten on his sole start over fences this season, Ramses De Teillee has thrived over hurdles, backing up his triumphant return at Cheltenham in October with Grade Two wins at Doncaster and Haydock.
Pipe said: “We were always going to take advantage of his novice hurdle status at some point, but we could never have dreamt it would have worked out this well.
“We tweaked his wind after he was beaten over fences and he seemed to come back an even better horse, as they were good performances at Haydock and Doncaster.
“He doesn’t mind the big occasion, he jumps and stays well and he is rated 151 which puts him in the top five novice hurdlers, so that tells you he must have a chance.
“The only negative would be if it dries up during the week, as though he goes on better ground, he is better on soft ground. However, he has lots of positives.”
Pipe is confident a repeat performance of Israel Champ’s Listed success at Ascot can see him involved in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper.
He said: “He has won two Listed bumpers now and it is all systems go to the Champion Bumper.
“He is in good form and we know he handles the track. He won’t mind the hustle and bustle of the race and on the Wednesday, the ground should still be softer.
“He came with a nice reputation, but being in the Champion Bumper is a real bonus. He was giving a nice horse of Jonjo’s (O’Neill) weight at Ascot and if he runs like that again, that should put him thereabouts.”
Pipe will also be represented in the Grade One prize by impressive Market Rasen scorer Panic Attack, following her switch from Willie Mullins’ yard after being purchased by owner Bryan Drew.
He added: “The plan is to go to Cheltenham, she has settled in nicely and done some nice work on the gallops.
“She gets a four-year-old and fillies’ allowance, so she will be getting 15lb off Israel Champ, which is a big pull.
“She was very impressive on soft ground at Market Rasen, but I think if the ground dried out it would suit her better. She travelled so well through her last race and you need to do that at Cheltenham.”
Having opened his account at the third time of asking at Ludlow last time out, Night Edition will look to go one place better than on his previous visit to Cheltenham in the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle.
Pipe said: “Night Edition deserves to take his chance in the Boodles and we had to get qualified for it last time at Ludlow, but he is improving with each run.
“His mark of 133 will get him in. He is not the biggest, but he handled Cheltenham well enough last time and I think he is a lively each-way chance.”
For obvious reasons, one race the Somerset handler would love to win is the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle and Umbrigado could be the horse to give him the victory which has so far eluded him.
Pipe said: “Umbrigado is a possible for the Coral Cup or the Martin Pipe. I would love to win dad’s race, but I’m starting to think it may never happen.
“He ran well first time out at Haydock, then the trip was too short for him at Ascot last time.
“He is yet to fulfil his potential this season, but he is a decent horse and hopefully he can come into himself in the spring.”