Pipe appealing top Festival trainer outsider with Dynaste and Close House

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Three winners have been enough to be crowned top Cheltenham Festival trainer in seven of the last 13 years and this helps make David Pipe look overpriced to claim the prize at 33/1 this season.

Pipe has yet to truly emulate the successes of his father Martin, who won the accolade at Cheltenham in 1997, 1998 and 2002.

However, he does have one of his strongest ever Festival teams this year, as he looks to build on his five Cheltenham winners across the last three years.

Victories in the non-handicap races have been few and far between, with Our Vic’s success in the Ryanair in 2008 his last real triumph outside of this sphere.

This all seems set to change this season with Dynaste the clear fancy from the Pipe team for victory in the RSA Chase, for which he can be backed at 2/1 to triumph.

Grands Crus was a similar fancy for the same race last year but failed to live up to expectation, although this year’s RSA does look a weaker contest.

The Byrne Group Plate and the Pertemps Final are the two races where Pipe has enjoyed the most success, winning each race twice across the last three Festivals.

The latter of these presents Pipe with an interesting Festival entry again, with Close House almost certain to appreciate the step up to 3m and he finished fourth in the Neptune at Cheltenham last year behind Simonsig.

He looks a tenacious stayer and this is a useful attribute up the Cheltenham hill.

Flying Cross is yet to jump a hurdle in public, but he was more than useful on the Flat with Aidan O’Brien, finishing third in the Irish St Leger.

It is unknown if he will tackle the Supreme Novices or the Neptune, but he should not be ruled out for either.

The others of particular interest from the Pipe team are The Liquidator in the Champion Bumper and Swing Bowler in the County Hurdle.

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

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.