The 2019 Cheltenham Festival can come to a close with the Gordon Elliott-trained Dallas Des Pictons landing a big gamble.
DALLAS DES PICTONS – 6-1 with Ladbrokes and Coral (nrnb). 5.30pm Cheltenham Friday 15th March.
For the first time ever the Cheltenham Festival ends with the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle, a race won by the stable of Gordon Elliott in 2017 and 2018. A former pupil of the man this two mile handicap is named in honour of, Elliott has always stated that winning this race for conditional jockey’s means as much to him as being successful in any of the Grade 1 contests at the four-day extravaganza. In Dallas Des Pictons the County Meath maestro appears to have a great chance of landing a hat-trick of victories.
In a recent interview trainer Gordon Elliott described Dallas Des Pictons as his best chance of winning one of the Cheltenham Festival handicaps and it is easy to see why. Many racegoers and punters will be saving their Cheltenham Free Bet offers for the finale and the expected plunge on the ex-French son of Spanish Moon, a top price 6-1 with Ladbrokes and Coral (nrnb) in their Cheltenham betting odds.
Following two promising efforts towards the back end of last year Dallas Des Pictons made full use of that experience to win a Punchestown maiden hurdle by ten lengths. Stepping up to handicap company for the first time three weeks later the six-year-old took a fiercely competitive Leopardstown affair, despite still not looking the finished article just yet. The mount of Jack Kennedy runs off a mark of 140 at Prestbury Park and time may show that to be on the generous side as the gelding continues to improve.
In what is traditionally known as the ‘Getting Out’ Stakes, the final race of the festival invariably results in a big gamble and it would be no surprise to see Dallas Des Pictons go off as short as 3-1 or 5-2. For those looking for something at juicier odds they could do worse than use their Cheltenham Free Bet offer on the consistent Go Another One from the Irish stable of John McConnell, available at 33-1 with Paddy Power (nrnb).