Pertemps Final Tips: Trio of lower-weighted runners to feature

Cheltenham
Our racing expert has three selections for the Pertemps Final

Onto Day 3 of the Cheltenham Festival and racing expert Rhys Williams has three each-way selections for the Pertemps Final...

"Blinkers go on for the first time today and I think that's a big positive to help him travel sweeter through the race. His jumping is a slight concern but I think he's overpriced at 33/1."

Lower-weighted runners to focus on


There is an unusual sight in the Pertemps Final this year with three horses running off 126. Having such a rating would usually give you no chance of getting in but circumstances this season has changed the nature of these Cheltenham handicaps. The market hasn't missed Milliner, who ran well in the last qualifier at Punchestown but I think the other two have been underestimated.

Everglow qualified by finishing third at Haydock in a race won by Bushypark. All of the focus after that race was on Champagne Platinum who finished second and is towards the front of the market today but I think Everglow wasn't far behind him on the eye-catching front. He clearly looked unsuited by the tight track and was often having to be niggled along by Ben Jones to hold his position. He didn't jump particularly well either, something that was also the case when he finished seventh in the Lanzarote on his previous start. Despite this, he ran on strongly late on to finish third.

Blinkers go on for the first time today and I think that's a big positive to help him travel sweeter through the race. His jumping is a slight concern but I think he's overpriced at 33/1.

Kansas City Chief runs in this race for the third time having finished thirteenth in 2018 and sixth last year. In last year's race, he was prominent from the off and was still in contention until fading just before the last. Generally, his form this season hasn't been anywhere near as positive as last season but I think there's some encouragement to be taken from it.

When finishing third in the October qualifier at Cheltenham, he initially raced just behind the leaders but he was racing so enthusiastically that he took his inexperienced rider into a share of the lead early on. He got into a battle with Bailarico for that position and they set a good pace. Having got the better of him early on the final circuit, he continued in front and stayed there until landing awkwardly at 2 out. He was headed by Honest Vic but kept plugging on to finish third.

He's been well beaten on both starts since but ran well for a long way at Wincanton in very testing ground on his latest start. I think he wants better ground these days and he might not get much pressure for the lead today. Millie Wonnacott's 5lb claim is overly generous for her ability and despite Kansas City Chief's advancing years, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him still in contention late on so he appeals at 50/1.

My third selection in the race is Mrs Milner who was beaten a neck by On The Blind Side at the Open Meeting in November. She ran well that day considering she was held up in a race that favoured those racing handily and On The Blind Side has continued to run well over hurdles this season, now being rated 8lb higher than he was that day.

Following that, she qualified for this race by finishing fourth at Leopardstown over Christmas. Far different tactics were used that day as she was always in a prominent position. She still appeared to be going easily when jumping into a share of the lead at 2 out and briefly took over with two furlongs to go but was soon passed and dropped away to finish fourth. In contrast with the Cheltenham race, it was a disadvantage to be very handy in this race so her performance can be upgraded.

She fell on her only start since and it's not ideal coming into a race on the back of a fall but that's just a minor concern. Given that this may not be run overly strongly with the lack of front runners in here, it could suit her as she doesn't look the strongest stayer over 3m and has the speed for shorter. I also think the better ground will suit and 12/1 appeals.

RHYS' PROFIT/LOSS 2021

Staked: 48.00pts
Returned: 31.725pts
P/L: -16.275pts

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