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  1. #1

    Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle 2019

    Almost impossible to get a handle on what might run in this race at this stage, let alone win it. But a race that always gets the opinions flowing, as evidenced by the handicap thread where there have already been a number of suggestions put forward. So let’s put those mentioned so far all in one place…

    Felix Desjy – been found out in graded races and you’d think handicaps would be the end of season route for him. Irish mark of 135 puts him in the right ballpark for this.
    Flawless Escape – beaten favourite in the race last year and started out the season novice chasing. An entry this week suggests he’ll be reverting to hurdles.
    Elwood – form reads F-P this season which doesn’t inspire much confidence. Only a 5yo and probably one for next season.
    Column of Fire – was well held by Dunvegan when BD last time (went off fav). He retains potential but is still very inexperienced.
    Causey Arch – been a busy horse since March last year but last couple of runs not up to much and current Irish mark of 128 means he’d likely struggle to get into this at this stage.
    Pacific De Baune – looks to be going for the Lanzarote and Diese Des Bieffes of Nicky’s took the Lanzarote>MP route last year. Interesting to see how he gets on upped in trip.
    Defi Bleu – has looked to appreciate stepping up to 2m4f+ and hasn’t looked at all out of place at grade 2 level the last twice. Irish mark of 136 looks fair.
    Rhinestone – 9th in the Bumper last year so has some festival experience. More probably expected from him upped to grade 2 company last time but you’ve got to think there’s a good chance he’s better than that and he retains potential.
    Dorrels Pierji – stamina looks his forte which is a tick in the box for this race. 2 victories over 2m 4f already this season and was favourite upped to 3m in a grade 2 last time when last of 6 (though not beaten far) but was found to be coughing. Irish mark of 138 and is one in the ‘might aim higher’ category (wouldn’t surprise to see him rock up in the AB).
    Commander Of Fleet – early season fav for the Ballymore if memory serves. Won his maiden well over 2m 4f but then woefully outpaced in the Royal Bond. Keen to see how he gets on in the Moscow Flyer at the weekend and he should be given a mark after that race. Still could be anything.

    and I’ll throw a couple of others in the mix…
    Sams Profile – been given an Irish 138 after his 2nd in the Lawlors – they might have higher aspirations than this race but he’s thrown a couple of nice performances together and remains one to watch.
    Choungaya – was disappointing last time but I really like the way he jumps a hurdle and that could be a real weapon in a race like this.

    Hard to form any strong opinions at this stage but this is all just a starting point based on the contributions in the handicap thread so far. From a personal perspective I have Flawless Escape backed in the any race market at 27/1 and it wouldn’t surprise to see him end up here. He was the beaten favourite in it last year and after an attempt at fences he was entered up this week over hurdles (albeit didn’t take up the entry). He remains of interest from a mark that Gordon clearly thinks is lenient. However, novice hurdlers have looked the way to go in this race recently so he perhaps wouldn’t have an obvious profile.

    Another one I’ve got ‘any race’ from early in the season is Pym (remember him?). Not sure if there’s been any issues but looks to have been given some time off since his 2nd at Cheltenham in November and he’s another who could end up here. He’s got his 3 races in the bag and a mark of 138.

    Considering their record in the race Gigginstown runners are clearly of major interest and Outlaw posted this link in the other thread which suggests that a couple of races at Clonmel and Thurles in late Feb should be getting our attention:

    http://community.betfair.com/chelten...vWelcomeHeader

    If I was going to have an early stab in the dark at the Giggi bunch then I’d plump for Defi Bleu. He’s run well in a couple of grade 2s over 2½ and 3 miles and an Irish mark of 136 should put him nicely in the frame for this race even after the British handicapper has had his say.

    I was really dubious about this race when it was first introduced but now I love it. I think Blow By Blow might be partly responsible for that.

    Oh and 1 final point… an important recommendation from Gaultstats: DO NOT BET ANTEPOST ON THIS RACE. Thread closed, I’ll get m’coat.

  2. #2
    Top Amateur
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    Great post

  3. #3
    Top Amateur
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    Superb V.F , your'e the Man !.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by BigChaang View Post
    Superb V.F , your'e the Man !.
    I don't know about that BC! There's a fair chance nothing on this list even turns up here, but you've got to start somewhere.

  5. #5
    Top Amateur SeanRock's Avatar
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    Martin Brassil's City Island is one I'm keeping an eye on with a view to this race. Only beaten by the ill fated Passageway under rules so far in his debut bumper. Two from two over hurdles, initially comprehensively beating Getareason & Debuchet at Galway over a 2m 5f trip that looked ideal for him. He ran again in a 2m maiden at Leopardstown on St. Stephen's Day, looking a little short of pace for the combination of the 2m trip & good ground but his stamina kicked in for the last few furlongs and he drew clear nicely.

    Trainer mentioned the Ballymore in his post race interview (due to his owners sponsoring the race) and he may well end up there but I've a feeling the Martin Pipe will be more up his street.

    Brassil said, “It’s great to come back and show what he showed us at Galway. He’s a progressive type of horse and his ideal trip is probably further than two (miles).

    “Sean and Bernardine (Mulryan) sponsor the Ballymore Novice Hurdle at Cheltenham and they would love to have a runner in it. Whether he’s good enough for that we’ll have to find out in the meantime.”

  6. #6
    Good stuff VF. Definite NRNB race for me and will also be looking to see who rides what.

  7. #7
    Great write up.
    Fan here of defi bleu too.

  8. #8
    3lb Claimer
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    25/1 any race with hills is the way to play Defi Bleu I reckon

  9. #9
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    The problem with this race is that so many who might go here might also go for the Coral or even the County or Pertemps.

    A big factor here is the quality of the jockey. By and large, the big stables have access to the best conditionals. They also have the choice of a number of decent horses who may respond well to a conditional.

    Solution.
    At entry time back every Elliott and Mullins horse NRNB.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by archie View Post
    The problem with this race is that so many who might go here might also go for the Coral or even the County or Pertemps.

    A big factor here is the quality of the jockey. By and large, the big stables have access to the best conditionals. They also have the choice of a number of decent horses who may respond well to a conditional.

    Solution.
    At entry time back every Elliott and Mullins horse NRNB.
    Good point Archie. There are no jockey claims in the race this season so I feel a good jockey booking will be more important than ever.

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