To stand a chance of featuring in the Pertemps Final, runners needed to have finished in the top six in any of the qualifying races that were held earlier in the season. It’s a rather unique event in this aspect but it’s something which means this race consistently has a jam-packed field.
Taking place for the first time in 1974, this handicap hurdle was promoted to Grade 3 level in 2018 having previously being Listed class.
Next Race: Thursday, 18th March 2021
The next race is scheduled to run on 18th March 2021. The race info, trends and tips shown below will be updated for the next renewal once the final declarations have been made.
Last Run: 12th March 2020
- Winner: Sire Du Berlais
- SP: 10/1
- Trainer: Gordon Elliott
- Jockey: Barry Geraghty
3m is the trip for this Grade 3 handicap hurdle which offers £100,000 in total prize money and is open only to those runners to have previously finished in the top six in designated qualifying races. The ground at the track is currently described as soft and after two great days of racing with enough winning tips to keep us happy we fancy our chances for another here.
|Going||Distance||Grade||Prize Money||Runners||EW Terms|
|Soft||3m||Grade 3||£100,000||24 Runners||1/4 1-4|
Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle Betting Tips
Note: The following tips are from 2020. Tips for the next renewal will be added once the final declarations have been made.
Locally based handler Jonjo O’Neill boasts the all-time lead in this race with four previous wins – an impressive record considering just how competitive the event invariably is. O’Neill has just the one horse qualified to run in this year’s renewal in the shape of the JP McManus-owned, Dream Berry.
Fans of jockey trends will likely look no further than the current favourite for this year’s race – the Gordon Elliott-trained, The Storyteller. The man in the saddle aboard this previous Cheltenham Festival scorer is a certain Davy Russell who has ridden the winner of this three times in the past four years. It would take a brave punter to oppose the jolly here and for us he certainly looks very tempting.
Recent trends suggest that this may be a young horses race these days, with five of the past seven editions having fallen to a runner aged six or younger. Interestingly only six of this year’s 24-runner field fall into that age bracket and so they will have work to do to improve that current run.
|The Storyteller||5/1||11st 9lbs||Gordon Elliott||Davy Russell|
|Relegate||6/1||10st 11lbs||Colm Murphy||Paul Townend|
|Sire Du Berlais||6/1||11st 12lbs||Gordon Elliott||Barry Geraghty|
|Kilbricken Storm||12/1||11st 0lbs||Colin Tizzard||Harry Cobden|
THE STORYTELLER (5/1)
A pretty significant gamble seems to be developing around The Storyteller, and it is not hard to see why. In addition to the Davy Russell factor outlined above, this nine year old hails from the yard of Gordon Elliott who has landed the two most recent editions of this. Age trends speak against him but at nine he is by no means past it and he looks well handicapped here.
Rated 161 over fences at his peak, The Storyteller’s hurdling mark of 149 looks very attractive in comparison, particularly considering he landed the 2018 Brown Advisory and Merriebelle Plate at this meeting off a mark just 2lbs lower.
A huge eyecatcher when hitting the line full of running in sixth spot in his qualifier at Leopardstown in December, he arrives here fresh having been kept off the track since, and looks a major player. He does looks a short enough price at first glance in so competitive a race, but four of the past six editions have been claimed by a runner at a single figure price, and he gets our vote here.
Another contender with solid previous Cheltenham Festival form is the ex-Willie Mullins-trained mare, Relegate. Relatively lightly raced for a seven year old, this daughter of Flemensfirth also prevailed at the 2018 edition of this meeting when coming with a late rattle to cause a 25/1 shock in the Champion Bumper.
She hasn’t really gone on to deliver all that would have been hoped for since that win, but did post an encouraging effort when a staying on fifth over 2m6f in a Grade 1 at Leopardstown on her final start for Mullins in February 2019. Brought back to the track following an absence of 382 days at the back end of February, she qualified for this in fairly comfortable style when fourth at Punchestown for her new handler Colm Murphy. It is reasonable to expect her to strip fitter for that effort here, and it would be no surprise to see her go close.
SIRE DU BERLAIS (6/1)
In what looks to be a very strong race for the Irish, another for the shortlist is the Gordon Elliott-trained defending champion, Sire Du Berlais. Now eight years old, this JP McManus-owned runner fluffed his lines on his first attempt to qualify this season, but made no mistake when staying on into fourth last time out at Warwick.
Getting up close home to score by just a neck in the race 12 months ago, a 7lb higher mark would appear to make things significantly tougher this time around. On watching the 2019 race back though, this son of Poliglote did pretty well to win the race at all having made a significant error early in the race and then been hampered on the bend as they turned for home. The excellent Barry Geraghty takes the ride once again, and a repeat success looks a real possibility, although the extra weight may just prove too much.
KILBRICKEN STORM (12/1)
It wouldn’t be the biggest shock were this to turn into something of a battle between runners to have been previously successful at the 2018 festival, as another to make our shortlist here is 2018 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle winner, Kilbricken Storm. That is a particularly eye-catching piece of form in regard to this race considering the Albert Bartlett is a Grade 1 event held over this very course and distance.
Kilbricken Storm has won just the once since that success – during an aborted chase career – but has been showing signs in his recent efforts that he may be coming to the boil at just the right time for this.
A sixth placed finish to Stayers Hurdle king, Paisley Park in the Cleeve Hurdle here was a respectable enough effort, as was his third in a qualifier for this last time out at Haydock. That race turned into something of a sprint in the end, which would have been all against this dour stayer, and with a strong pace assured here, he is fancied to go close. He certainly appeals each way at a double figure price and may find it easier at this sort of level.
Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle Winners
|2020||Sire Du Berlais||10/1||Gordon Elliott||Barry Geraghty|
|2019||Sire Du Berlais||4/1||Gordon Elliott||Barry Geraghty|
|2018||Delta Work||6/1||Gordon Elliott||Davy Russell|
|2017||Presenting Percy||11/1||Pat Kelly||Davy Russell|
|2016||Mall Dini||14/1||Pat Kelly||Davy Russell|
|2015||Call The Cops||9/1||Nicky Henderson||Andrew Tinkler|
|2014||Fingal Bay||9/2||Philip Hobbs||Richard Johnson|
|2013||Holywell||25/1||Jonjo O'Neill||Richie McLernon|
|2012||Cape Tribulation||14/1||Malcolm Jefferson||Denis O'Regan|
|2011||Buena Vista||20/1||David Pipe||Conor O'Farrell|
About the Pertemps Final Hurdle: Hugely Competitive Stayers Handicap
The organisers of the Cheltenham Festival understandably make a big deal of the fact that there are 14 Grade 1 races taking place across the four days of action. Race goers love the chance to see the very best horses across the various divisions compete against one another but punters always enjoy getting their teeth stuck into a competitive betting heat and in that regard there is nothing quite like a handicap.
The Pertemps Final Hurdle is one such race that always provides plenty of opportunity for punters. Not only is this three mile contest a handicap but it is one that all the competitors must qualify for earlier on in the National Hunt season.
There are 16 different opportunities in Britain and Ireland for connections to get their horses into the Pertemps Final Hurdle and have a crack at a winner’s prize that reached over £56,000 in 2020. These are held at various courses in Britain and Ireland and horses must finish in the top six in at least one of them to have a chance of a place amongst the big field of the series final.
UK & Irish Pertemps Final Qualifiers Results (2019/20)
|Newbury||7/11/19||Diablo De Rouhet||Daklondike||Dingo Dollar|
|Aintree||9/11/19||Skandiburg||Diomede Des Mottes||Rosy World|
|Kempton||11/11/19||Fleur Irlandaise||Morning Vicar||Theclockisticking|
|Market Rasen||21/11/19||Rapper||Copper Gone West||Ready And Able|
|Sandown||7/12/19||Go Whatever||Dream Berry||Fortunate George|
|Carlisle||15/12/19||Taxmeifyoucan||Presence Felt||Planet Nine|
|Wincanton||26/12/19||Third Wind||Jatiluwih||Storm Arising|
|Leopardstown||28/12/29||Treacysenniscorthy||Ronald Pump||Stacks Mountain|
|Warwick||11/1/20||Silver Sheen||Doc Penfro||One For The Team|
|Huntingdon||24/1/20||Phoenix Way||Kansas City Chief||Captain Tommy|
|Musselburgh||2/2/20||Highland Hunter||Mighty Thunder||Keeper Hill|
|Exeter||9/2/20||Meeting abandoned due to high winds|
|Haydock||15/2/20||Welsh Saint||Silva Eclipse||Kilbricken Storm|
|Punchestown||19/2/20||Mary Frances||Blast Of Koeman||A Great View|
|Chepstow||22/2/20||Meeting abandoned due to unraceable ground|
Never Easy To Unravel
You might think that the presence of such a structured route to the Pertemps Final Hurdle would mean that predicting the winner is relatively easy. That is not the case. Horses who go off at odds of 20/1 or longer regularly claim places whilst winners at double figures are commonplace and winning favourites rare.
When picking through the form to try and pull out a potential winner the qualifying places do seem to be the most obvious place to start. Punters will certainly get some important insights from those them but it is well worth noting that only a small percentage of recent winners actually won the race that got them a place at Cheltenham.
Punters who want specific races to cast an eye over should look at October’s Cheltenham Qualifier and the Heroes Handicap run at Sandown in February even though it is not one of the qualifiers.
There are some important trends to consider for the Pertemps Final though. The race is open to horses aged five and older but Delta Work became only the second five-year-old to win since the race was introduced to the Cheltenham Festival in 1974. The key spell in terms of age is between six and nine so punters must have very good reasons for backing any horse who falls outside of this range.
The other range to carefully consider concerns the weights. Horses with an official rating of over 150 find it very difficult to make their class show with the amount of weight that they are forced to carry. Backing a horse carrying less than 11st is ideal but the unpredictable nature of the Pertemps Final Hurdle is reflected in the fact that even the top weighted horse has won previously. The latest to do so was Sire Du Berlais who won his second successive Pertemps Final in 2020 saddling 11st 12lbs.
This weigh carried by Sire Du Berlais was in fact the heaviest by any winning horse in the history of the race, 1lb more than the previous highest weighted winner, Presenting Percy, who carried a hefty 11st 11lbs to victory in 2017.The lightest runners to win the race were Rogers Princess in 1989 and Creon in 2004, both of whom were carrying 10st 0lbs.