Home » Cheltenham Festival Tips: Le Milos backed for Pertemps glory

Cheltenham Festival Tips: Le Milos backed for Pertemps glory

At The Races tipster Hugh Taylor has three selections on the third day of the Cheltenham Festival, coming in the Pertemps Final and Plate Handicap Chase.

Le Milos (Pertemps Final – 2.10pm)

LE MILOS, better recognised as a classy performer over fences, has been given a real chance by the handicapper and has to be on the shortlist.

He progressed into a smart staying chaser after joining Dan Skelton last season, winning the Coral Gold Cup off a mark of 146 on just his second start.

On his fourth and final start of the season he was one of the fancied runners in the Grand National, but after moving into fifth rounding the home turn he faded, stamina issues the obvious conclusion having travelled well for a long way.

He was desperately weak in the market when qualifying for this race at Market Rasen in March (went from odds on to an SP of 9-4), having reportedly had surgery in the off-season, but that was probably a shrewd piece of placing from connections, needing to finish in front of only one of his four rivals to qualify for this final, which he duly achieved in finishing a well-held third.

He was again friendless in the market (and not ridden by Harry Skelton) when making little impact from the rear over an inadequate trip at Ascot in February, again not given a hard time when beaten. His trainer stated both before and after that contest that he would expect him to improve significantly for the run.

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Le Milos is one of Hugh’s selections for Thursday

The handicapper’s subsequent decision to drop him 4lb looks a brave one, because it’s probably premature to suggests that he’s a vastly inferior performer over hurdles compared to fences. His last start over the smaller obstacles came in February 2020, which is before he had wind surgery, as well as the subsequent stable switch.

He looks the class performer in the race yet carries just 11-02, and it shouldn’t be surprising if – like Langer Dan on Wednesday – he leaves his two previous performances this season well behind here.

The other horse I like is GABBYS CROSS and he also looks worth backing on the basis of being a useful chaser who looks well handicapped over hurdles.

The Irish handicapper allowed him to revert to his hurdles mark from the 2020-21 season when runner-up on his last two starts, and on each occasion, he was unlucky to run into a notably well-handicapped rival, shaping as if a stronger gallop would have suited on the second of those two runs.

He’s racing off a 10lb higher mark here, but he ran several big races off a mark 10lb higher still over fences last year, and having been kept back for this race since qualifying in November, he looks an interesting contender for an in-form yard.

Theatre Man (Plate Handicap Chase – 4.10pm)

THEATRE MAN he showed much-improved form at Cheltenham last time, and with the likely extra test of stamina under the conditions, he looks to have strong claims in the Trustatrader Plate Handicap Chase (Cheltenham 4.10).

He ran well on his first two starts over fences at Newbury, perhaps spoiling his chance by racing too keenly over 3m on the second occasion.

Dropped to 2m4f here last time, he generally jumped very soundly, but wasn’t fluent at the fourth last and found himself outpaced as the field picked up speed down the hill.

He was three or four lengths adrift of the first four early in the straight and seemingly not going quite as well as that quartet, and was around eight lengths behind the leader in fourth jumping the last, but came up the hill in great style to finish second behind Ginnys Destiny.

Theatre Man is only 3lb higher here and on the evidence of that latest run the greater emphasis on stamina likely here on what seems sure to be more testing ground should be very much in his favour; he won eased down at Kempton last year over hurdles on the deepest ground he has encountered to date.

Hugh Taylor’s best bets (1-5 points):

Le Milos (Pertemps Final) – 1pt win (10-1 general)

Gabbys Cross (Pertemps Final) – 1pt win (8-1 general)

Theatre Man (Plate Handicap Chase) – 1pt win (4-1 general)