The Road to Cheltenham

Bill Esdaile
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WITH just four days to go until the start of the Cheltenham Festival, now is the final time for us to find some value before the action gets underway. I will be reporting from Cheltenham on all four days and will hopefully be able to pick out a winner or two.

The final race I’m going to look at in the Star Sports Road to Cheltenham series is the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockey’s Handicap Hurdle on Friday. David Pipe would clearly love to win the race named after his father, but he is yet to do so and his runners tend to be over-bet.

Paul Nicholls won this contest 12 months ago with the well-handicapped Salubrious, who is an interesting outsider for this year’s World Hurdle. And I can see him and his nephew Harry Derham claiming back-to-back successes with the intriguing CAID DU BERLAIS.

The five-year-old was second in the Fred Winter last year and has only raced once over hurdles since, finishing a creditable second to Champion Hurdle hopeful Jezki at Down Royal in November.

He has twice run over fences since then, winning once, but this looks his race and I can see him starting considerably shorter than the current 14/1 with Star Sports.

Martin Pipe Conditional
Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (Cheltenham Festival)

Weekend Tipping
GASSIN GOLF e/w 3.15pm Sandown (tomorrow)
AVISPA 3.50pm Sandown (tomorrow)