Gevrey Chambertin is still entered in three encounters at the Cheltenham Festival, but if the decision of which race to tackle fell on the shoulders of trainer David Pipe, he knows which of the trio he would pick.
In the four runnings of the Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle, the race named after his father, David has not had the best of luck.
Two of his best chances failed to take part, with Grands Crus missing out because he fell short of the lower end of the handicap and Dynaste for being too high in the other direction.
However, Pipe has had popular selections in each of the four years nonetheless, with at least one of his mounts sent off at a starting price of 13/2 or shorter in these races.
Big Eared Fran remains his best performer in this time when taking third in the inaugural running in 2009, despite his serious efforts to triumph 12 months ago when sending four horses to the contest.
Pipe is almost certain to be mob handed again as he is responsible for no fewer than 14 of the current entries, but it is Gevrey Chambertin that looks his leading hope and heads the betting at present at 6/1.
Yet, Pipe has made it clear what he thinks is the best course of action.
The Racing Post reports that Stanley said: “David Pipe says it’s up to me – either come sixth in the Albert Bartlett or first in the Martin Pipe. Trainers have a way of putting things!”
Gevrey Chambertin will run off top weight in the Martin Pipe given that he has just scraped in off the highest allowed official rating of 145, but this is no bad thing.
There is likely to be little between the top and bottom weights and so the recommendation would be to pick the horse that is the best in the field, rather than the one which appears to have snuck in off a low weight and is open to improvement.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.