The Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle, which is the final race of the 2023 Cheltenham Festival, is a 0-145 handicap over an extended 2m4f for conditional jockeys .

It’s an extremely popular race with punters, especially in recent years after being won by current Gold Cup favourite Galopin Des Champs in 2021, and is often targeted by the Irish trainers.

At time of writing, Betfred’s favourite for the Martin Pipe at 4/1 is Gaelic Warrior – trained by (you guessed it) that man Willie Mullins.

However, he’s currently rated 143 in Ireland, so after factoring in the ‘UK tax’ that is added by the British handicapper ahead of the Festival, it’s highly, highly unlikely that he’ll make the cut so cannot be advised.

Gordon Elliott’s Three Card Brag at 15/2 is interesting. He’s got a rating of 135 across the sea, which I feel seriously underestimates him.

The son of Jet Away would certainly qualify for the race providing he goes straight there, and would have a favourite’s chance, but caution must again be advised as connections seem to be favouring a tilt at the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle.

Langer Dan for the Skeltons is once again prominent in the betting for this race at 8/1 having being well-fancied for it for a few years now. For me, he’s missed his opportunity and isn’t a tempting bet at the moment.

Latest Martin Pipe Hanidcap Hurdle Ante-Post Odds

Who is a tempting bet is Hunters Yarn at 10/1. Willie Mullins’ six-year-old has some fantastic pieces of form to his name and under the new rules – novices now need four runs over flights to qualify for Festival handicap hurdles – he only needs one more run to make the cut.

Might I qualifies and trainer Harry Fry has said the Pipe is his target – so, although he’ll have the burden of top weight being rated 145, you’re at least getting a run for your money at 12/1. He has a chance and will likely be much shorter on the day.

Of the others at bigger prices, Favori De Champdou looks particularly interesting at 14/1 after being given an Irish mark of 137 in the week – while Mullins’ Spanish Harlem is popular with backers at 16/1.

Cheltenham Festival Betting Odds

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