Cheltenham: Josies Order can deliver McManus Pertemps again

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The Pertemps Network Final has been one of the most difficult contests to solve ever since it was first ran back in 1974 and with 24 runners set to go to post this season the test has become no easier for punters.

David Pipe saddled Buena Vista to successfully defend his crown in 2011 and returns with two runners in a bid to bring the prize back to Pondhouse for the third time after his father Martin tasted success back in 1998 with the “biggest certainty in history”, Unsinkable Boxer.

Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be anything even remotely resembling a good thing this time around with the favourite set to go off no shorter than 5/1.

That jolly is set to be Philip Hobbs’ Fingal Bay who would give the Somerset stable a second win in as many days after Balthazar King stayed best of all to win the Cross Country Chase yesterday.

And with any tricky assignment having some relevant trends to help highlight and dismiss can always be useful and so they are provided below:

Positives

–          Three of the last five winners finished in the first five of the Betfair Fixed Brush Handicap Hurdle at Haydock (Lie Forrit, Utopie Des Bordes)

–          Jonjo O’Neill (Josies Order) and David Pipe (Broadway Buffalo, Top Wood) have the strongest records in the race

–          JP McManus has owned three winners (Josies Orders)

–          Last time-out winners have won nine of the last 18 runnings with only 20 per cent representing the field (Fingal Bay, Pineau De Re, Uncle Jimmy, Top Wood, Josies Order)

Negatives

– None of the last 13 winners were officially rated higher than 142 (Fingal Bay, Southfield Theatre, Quartz De Thaix, Trustan Times, Jetson, Seefood, Mickie)

In conclusion, it’s difficult to have one. However, masts are there to be pinned to and with JP McManus and Jonjo O’Neill enjoying so much shared success in the race it would probably be foolhardy to ignore the chances of Josies Order.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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