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16:40 Cheltenham: Salubrious looks a healthy selection

| 15.03.2013

Paul Nicholls has not enjoyed the most productive of Cheltenham Festivals heading into the last day, but Salubrious can improve things slightly with a healthy success in the Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle.

Second-season hurdlers have held the upper hand in this conditional jockeys contest by winning each of the last four renewals and Salubrious won two of his three novice contests last season.

His form has also been solid if not unspectacular in the current campaign with just the single victory in four starts, but he has been putting up some decent performances in defeat.

Salubrious was only beaten six lengths by At Fishers Cross in December when conceding 7lb and the winner is now rated 30lb higher.

The fact Harry Derham has ridden him the last twice is another positive and he won fairly comfortably last time on good ground.

Interestingly, Derham also gets to take off 3lb because he is attached to the Nicholls stable and all of the first four home last year had a jockey that could take this weight off.

David Pipe is still waiting to win the race named after his father despite a host of previous entrants towards the top of the market and it may be significant that he is only running one this year.

That one is the 5/1 favourite Gevrey Chambertin, who is unbeaten in three starts this season and Pipe is positive about the horse’s chances.

Of the remainder, Paint The Clouds gets a noteworthy mention as he is a two-time winner at Cheltenham and he has proven before that he can get his head in front after a lengthy layoff.

He has not been seen since winning 17 months ago, but has only gone up 1lb for that success and could get involved at 25/1 off bottom weight.

Double Ross is another to consider at 18/1, alongside Ma Filleule (10/1) from the yard of Nicky Henderson, who has enjoyed this race in recent years.

Meanwhile, punters struggling to make a firm decision on the Cheltenham Gold Cup may want to pick a horse at random with this roulette wheel.

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



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.