The Pertemps has produced some excellent winners over the years and generally they have gone on to do bigger and better things with the likes of Fingal Bay, Delta Work and Presenting Percy to name a few recent victors.
Sire Du Berlais has been well-supported in the ante-post market since he finished on strongly in a Pertemps Qualifier at Leopardstown in December and with his fourth place finish in the Martin Pipe last year, it’s obvious to see why punters have latched on to him for Gordon Elliot.
But I don’t particularly like the way he has generally finished off his races during his career, further highlighted by the fact that he is 0/8 under rules, and with his current best-priced odds of 11/2 in this 24 runner handicap, I think there are much more attractive betting alternatives.
Jessica Harrington has had a bit of a quiet week so far, but she has quite an interesting looking unexposed runner in NOT MANY LEFT lining up here at 16/1.
If anyone hadn’t heard of the jockey Mark Walsh before this week then they will have now with two winners already at The Festival and he’s set to take the ride on this supposed second string for Jessica Harrington.
Not Many Left has been very lightly raced thus far and had another Pertemps Qualifier winner well in-behind in Cuneo in January 2018, before going down in third to Blow By Blow in a Grade 3 in February of that year – a horse that went on to win the Martin Pipe at The Festival.
The selection finished its novice hurdling campaign with a very good second place to JLT entrant Pravalaguna over 2m 4f at Punchestown with that race boasting the likes of Kaiser Black and Good Tyne Tara in-behind. To add more ammunition to the selection our current favourite Sire Du Berlais, was a good 53 lengths behind when racing off level-weights on that occasion.
Not Many Left is getting 4lbs from the favourite here and the Huntingdon qualifier that he won back in January should have set him up nicely for this as he races off just a 4lb higher mark of 141. That was a good performance over three miles as Not Many Left battled hard to beat what could be another progressive type in the shape of Minella Warrior.
Any rain forecast for the morning will hopefully keep things on the slower side and that could really play in to the hands of this dour stayer.
We are taking two in this and one who came very close to getting tipped was First Assignment for Ian Williams (who I have been following all season long) and whose entrant arguably has the best form on offer coming into this with a third place behind Paisley Park and Shades Of Midnight.
First Assignment looks quite closely matched at the weights with another in the shape of NOTWHATIAM, who finished a staying-on neck down on First Assignment last time out over 3m 1f at Warwick on good ground (passing him as they crossed the line).
Notwhatiam is a former Irish trained horse and all of his best pieces of form have tended to come with a bit of soft in the going description.
He is a strong travelling sort who has been racing well for his new yard of the Skeltons this season and he’s coming into this having had a nice break to freshen him up.
Notwhatiam has looked better than ever since having a wind operation during the middle of 2018, and opened his campaign with two wins in his first three starts at around three miles.
His only DNF came in a Pertemps Qualifier here at Cheltenham, won by The Might Don back in October, when Notwhatiam was travelling as good as anything that day, and who knows where he might have finished before falling a few hurdles out – feels like he would’ve gone close though.
His penultimate start saw him finish a never nearer third to Graded-level performers in Ch’tibello and Midnight Shadow over an inadequate trip of 2m 4f and the set-up of the Pertemps could be perfect for this strong traveller that has bags of stamina.
1pt each-way Notwhatiam @12/1, 14:10 Cheltenham, Thursday (1,2,3,4,5,6 places, 1/5 odds with various bookmakers)
1pt each-way Not Many Left @16/1, 14:10 Cheltenham, Thursday (1,2,3,4,5,6 places, 1/5 odds with various bookmakers)