This is the first of three very tricky handicaps on Day Three of the Cheltenham Festival. The Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle is over 2m 7f's and like most of the handicaps is usually a tough race to solves. There has only been one winning favourite in the last twelve years and in that same time there has been two 50/1 winners. It is difficult to have a strong opinion on these types of races but hopefully I can point you in the direction of a few horses who will run big races at nice odds. The best way to try and make a profit in this race is to back a couple of horses each way.
Another Gordon Elliot contender is Taglietelle - the shrewd Irish trainer is certain that this horse will run well. He was just beaten in the Coral Cup last year where he made up some very eye catching headway in the final few furlongs and stayed on all the way to the line, eventually finishing 4th but beaten only a length. He then went to Ascot off a 5lb higher mark and beat some inform rivals over 3m's. That proves this trip is no problem at all. Taglietelle usually saves his best performances for this time of year and although he hasn't won a race so far this season he has genuine excuses for all of those runs. He's ran in three graded races and is now down to a listed event. His performance last time out was on softer ground that he would've liked and Richard Johnson said that Taglietelle would've won if he'd jumped the second last more fluently. He finished behind Cup Final that day and must have a huge chance turning that form around at the weights.
Yes he's carrying top weight but Gordon Elliot will probably put Jack Kennedy up for the ride who take off a few lb.
IF IN DOUBT
This is a very interesting horse for Philip Hobbs. If In Doubt finished 4th in this race in 2014 and then took the rest of the season off before going chasing the following season. He was very lightly raced over fences before he went for the RSA Chase at last years festival and he finished 5th of eight only 8l's behind Don Poli. If In Doubt made numerous jumping errors that day so to finish only 8l's behind a horse that is well fancied for this years Gold Cup is remarkable. Two more appearances over fences saw him take on red hot opposition in the Irish Grand National and the Hennessy Gold Cup where he was pulled up both times. Philip Hobbs sent him back over hurdles for a Pertemps Qualifier where he hacked up. He's 6lb higher for this race but he could be much better than that.
Harry Fry is still undecided where to run Unowhatimeanharry but if he did show up here then it's because he's ditched his other entry which is in the Albert Bartlett. After doing a bit of research on this horse it doesn't sound as if Mr Fry is too keen on this horse chances in the Albert Bartlett which leads me to believe that we'll see him in this race. He says "On official ratings he's still got quite a bit to find with the best novices in the Albert Bartlett. That's why we came here today to try to qualify and give ourselves another option." That was after Unowhatimeanharry won a Pertemps Qualifier at Exeter. Before that this horse won a rather weak Grade 2 Albert Bartlett qualifier at Cheltenham so there is no problems with the trip nor course. Since Harry Fry added a tongue tie this horse has been extremely progressive (winning 4 out of 4) and we might not have seen the best of this 8 year old yet.