Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle Tips: What’s Up Darling fancied

 | March 14 | 

6 mins read

Martin Pipe Tips

The final piece of the Cheltenham Festival jigsaw will once more be the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle on Friday afternoon.

The contest is run over an extended two-and-a-half-miles and Willie Mullins - with wins via Sir Des Champs (2011), Don Poli (2014), Killultagh Vic (2015), Galopin Des Champs (2021) - is the only trainer, jockey or horse to win multiple times since the race was added in 2009.

Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle Tips

  • What's Up Darling @ 16/1  


  1. Magic Tricks (Gordon Elliott/Charlie O'Dwyer) 40/1

Listed handicap winner at Down Royal in November and another good effort at Fairyhouse in December. Needs to improve upped in trip.

  1. Hollow Games (Gordon Elliott/Kieran Buckley) 22/1

Good third in Galway Plate back in August over fences but has lost his way in that sphere since and has to do more back over timber.

  1. Sonigino (Paul Nicholls/Freddie Gingell) 12/1

Landed a nice pot at Aintree in December over this sort of trip on testing ground but disappointing in the Lanzarote at Kempton since.

  1. No Ordinary Joe (Nicky Henderson/Aidan Kelly) 13/2

Second to Iroko in this last year off a mark of 139 and only 1lb higher now having some positive signs of late. Yard form a worry this week.

  1. Quai De Bourbon (Willie Mullins/Mikey O'Sullivan) 3/1

French import is 2-2 since joining the ranks at Closutton, handled heavy ground in a 2m Clonmel win in January and the longer trip is a positive. Full of potential but the assessor has noticed that.

  1. Better Days Ahead (Gordon Elliott/Danny Gilligan) 9/1

Fairyhouse maiden hurdle winner over just shy of three miles on testing ground in November and since run well behind Slade Steel and Asian Master, both of whom sparkled in the Supreme on Tuesday.

  1. Jay Jay Reilly (Dan Skelton/Triston Durrell) 33/1

Surprise winner of the Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton in January but then unable to back it up at Ascot since and has plenty more to do to defy this rating.

  1. Yeats Star (Gordon Elliott/Shane Fitzgerald) 16/1

Hurdles winner at Downpatrick and Punchestown earlier in the season and solid efforts twice since in better company at Leopardstown (2m4f/3m½f). Handles testing going but the assessor has taken a dim view of him.

  1. Answer To Kayf (Terence O'Brien/John Shinnick) 8/1

Form ties with Waterford Whispers from Fairyhouse novice in December and arrives here off the back of winning a 2m3f heavy-ground Naas novice last month. Entitled to be competitive.

  1. What's Up Darling (Gordon Elliott/Conor Stone-Walsh) 16/1

Grade 3 Navan novice winner in November over 2m on testing ground, not disgraced in either run since in better contests and last month's Gowran Park third advertised by winner Lantry Lady finishing fourth behind Lossiemouth here on Tuesday. An interesting handicap debutant.

  1. Angels Breath (Sam Thomas/Dylan Johnston) 25/1

Very lightly-raced for a 10YO having missed a massive chunk of time after leaving Nicky Henderson. Ran well over 2m4f on good ground here in October but more recent form is less appealing.

  1. Stuzzkini (Gordon Elliott/Jake Coen) 33/1

Romped to 3m Clonmel win in November but an inflated mark as a result of that has seen him well beaten in both starts since and this trip is possibly shorter than he really wants.

  1. Waterford Whispers (Henry de Bromhead/Mikey O'Connor) 9/2

Maiden/novice hurdle wins at Galway (2m½f, soft) and Fairyhouse (2m3f, soft) to kick-start this season and only found one too good since at Leopardstown over Christmas on handicap bow. More to come but the handicapper has asked for a step forward.

  1. Ocastle Des Mottes (Willie Mullins/Kieran Callaghan) 12/1

Dual winner in France on testing ground, unable to justify 7/2 favouritism on first start for Willie Mullins in last month's Betfair Hurdle at Newbury. Might be sharper for that and interesting to see if the market likes him again.

  1. Sequestered (Paul Gilligan/Jack Gilligan) 50/1

Kept on well to win a Galway novice on testing ground over this sort of trip in the autumn but hasn't progressed in three runs since, including when tailed off here in November in a graded event.

  1. Teddy Blue (Gary Moore/Niall Houlihan) 40/1

Well beaten in the Triumph here in 2022 and unseated on sole run back here since, more exposed than a lot of these and form this season isn't inspiring.

  1. Mel Monroe (Gordon Elliott/Ben Harvey) 66/1

Downpatrick maiden hurdle winner in June, second to Encanto Bruno (runs in County Hurdle) here over 2m4f in October but a mixed time of it since, albeit clashing with some useful mares. She has to improve but might do so back here.

  1. Bingoo (James Moffatt/Patrick Wadge) 40/1

Is 4-7 over hurdles, most recently scoring at Aintree (2m4f, soft) on Boxing Day off a mark of 124 in a decent race. The Morebattle Hurdle at Kelso over 2m a fortnight ago was a big ask, this trip should suit more his thing but personal best demanded.

  1. Fiveonfive (Cian Collins/Eoin Walsh) 66/1

Didn't run badly when beaten five lengths in a Punchestown novice on testing ground last month on first crack at this trip. 4lb higher mark now and cheek-pieces are tried.

  1. Thanksforthehelp (David Pipe/Gearoid Harney) 16/1

Doesn't quite have the scope of some of these contenders on paper and well beaten on recent comeback over further. Up against it on ratings as David Pipe has another try at winning the race named after his father.

  1. Shared (Harry Derham/Alice Stevens) 66/1

Never able to get into the race in the Boodles here last season and, while he won on comeback at Chepstow in October on testing ground, it was over 2m and Saturday's Imperial Cup ninth leaves plenty to work on.

  1. Jason The Militant (Phil Kirby/Joe Williamson) 100/1

Was once a very smart hurdler for Henry de Bromhead but has made little impact for current yard. Beaten 21-lengths at Newcastle (2m1f, heavy) last month and first-time blinkers need to work an oracle.

  1. Russian Ruler (Nicky Henderson/Freddie Gingell) 80/1

Dual winner over shorter as a novice last spring but went backwards this season over fences. This month's return to hurdling at Kelso (2m5f, good to soft) was a little more promising but will really have to build on that.


What's Up Darling @ 16/1  

Waterford Whispers has been well-touted for this and is an improving sort, but the handicapper hasn't missed him.

The Mullins challenge is limited to just two, with Quai De Bourbon seemingly best placed but, in the same Gigginstown colours, perhaps WHAT'S UP DARLING can give Gordon Elliott a third win in this contest.

Like stablemate Better Days Ahead, his form has been advertised here this week, with Lantry Lady running a cracker in the Mares' Hurdle. If he emulates her by improving when upped in trip, then a mark of 137 is certainly exploitable.

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