David Pipe: Hoping to strike with lively outsiders

 
Bill Esdaile
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David Pipe has two outside chances at Cheltenham on Thursday (Source: Getty)

THERE is nothing quite like the Cheltenham Festival and I’m excited about heading back there today with two lively outsiders.


We’ll be looking after our owners in the facility we have at the course and if you join the City Syndicate you can be part of that this time next year.

Look out for the adverts in the paper as there aren’t many shares left.

Our first runner this afternoon is CHAMPERS ON ICE in the Pertemps Final (2.10pm).

He will love the ground and had a great prep at Haydock where he finished fourth behind Sykes in the qualifier.


We’ve put a pair of blinkers on him again and he would have a squeak if he returned to the form that saw him finish a good third in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle a few years ago.

Our other runner this afternoon is EAMON AN CNOIC who has been declared to run in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate (4.10pm).

If I am honest, I had been hoping to run him in the Grand Annual over two miles tomorrow, but I had to declare him for this as he wasn’t guaranteed to get in.

Once again, he won’t mind the ground and he hid it nicely at Chepstow last time.

He had a wind operation prior to that and I’m hoping that was the reason he wasn’t quite getting home rather than an inability to stay the trip.

Looking at the Stayers’ Hurdle 3.30pm), the feature race on today’s card, it is very hard to get away from Paisley Park who has been brilliant this season.

This will be a real test though and it’s hard to rule out Faugheen who could still be very competitive despite being 11 years old.

Don’t forget he has won a Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle and a Champion Hurdle around here so if the fire still burns bright, he could be competitive.

As for tomorrow’s Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup (3.30pm), it looks like an intriguing contest and the ground appears to have come right for last year’s winner Native River.

However, I am a big Presenting Percy fan and was so taken by him when he blew away last year’s RSA Chase field.

Granted he hasn’t had the most orthodox of preparations, but he’s a super talented horse and I just think he is still the one they all have to beat.

It obviously isn’t ideal that he hasn’t run over fences yet this season, but he looked in great form when he won over hurdles and that will have blown the cobwebs away.

He schooled around Galway the other day where they even turned the fences the other way around for him.

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