Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle

The Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle takes place at 2.10pm on Day 3 (Thursday) of the Cheltenham Festival and serves as the final for the 21 qualifying races that are run throughout the jump season prior to the festival.

The race has traditionally been something of a stepping stone for younger horses who go on to greater heights over fences. In recent years the likes of Presenting Percy and Delta Work won the race en route to excellent novice chase campaigns the following season.

Length of race – The race is run over 3m.
Where to watch – RTV and ITV
When to watch – Thursday, March 14 at 2.10pm.
Prize money – Last year’s race was worth £95,000.
Course – The race is run on the New course at Cheltenham.
Race type – The Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle is a Grade 3 handicap hurdle open to horses that finish in the first six in one of the eight qualifying races run throughout the season before the festival. The race is open to mares as well as geldings.
Weights – As the race is a handicap, horses carry a weight that is representative of their handicap mark. Runners can carry a penalty for any wins after the weights are published.
Ages – Horses aged five and older can compete in the Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle.
Sponsor – The Pertemps Network Group have sponsored the race since 2002.


Past 10 winners:


Year Horse Previous form Age Price Trainer Jockey
2018 Delta Work 33243 5 6-1 Gordon Elliott Davy Russell
2017 Presenting Percy 11541 6 11-1 Pat Kelly Davy Russell
2016 Mall Dini 31433 6 14-1 Pat Kelly Davy Russell
2015 Call The Cops 421-41 6 9-1 Nicky Henderson Andrew Tinkler
2014 Fingal Bay 2-12O-1 8 9-2F Philip Hobbs Richard Johnson
2013 Holywell 1-2222 6 25-1 Jonjo O’Neill Richie McLernon
2012 Cape Tribulation 5P504 8 14-1 Malcolm Jefferson Denis O’Regan
2011 Buena Vista 28700 10 20-1 David Pipe Conor O’Farrell
2010 Buena Vista 2-8508 9 16-1 David Pipe Hadden Frost
2009 Kayf Aramis 26211 7 16-1 Venetia Williams Aidan Coleman


Race stats

  • Winning form between 2m4f and 2m6f, 8/10
  • Carried no more than 11st 4lb, 8/10
  • Six to ten runs over hurdles, 8/10 (exceptions 22-plus)
  • Aged six to eight, 7/10
  • Officially rated 133 to 142, 7/10
  • Off track between 19 and 48 days, 7/10
  • Won a Class 2 or higher, 6/10

Other factors

  • Five winners had yet to win over 3m
  • Four winners had run at the festival before
  • Last year Delta Work became the first successful five-year-old since Pragada in 1988, while Buena Vista in 2011 was the first aged older than nine to oblige since 1981
  • Two jockeys have recorded three victories in the Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle. Jim Wilson won the race three years in a row with Willie Wumpkins (1979, 1980 and 1981) – the only horse to win the race three times. Davy Russell has won the last three renewals courtesy of Mall Dini (2016), Presenting Percy (2017) and Delta Work (2018).
  • Jonjo O’Neill is the leading trainer in the race having won it on four occasions. The first came courtesy of Danny Connors in 1991 and was followed by Inching Closer (2003), Creon (2004) and Holywell (2013).

Key Trials

Every horse running in the Pertemps Final has to finish in the first six in one of 21 qualifiers, all of which are run as handicaps between late October and late February. 14 of the qualifiers are run at British courses, with two run in Ireland and five in France.

What happened last year?

Delta Work travelled powerfully in mid-division throughout and took up the running after the final flight. He was made to fight all the way to the line by stablemate Glenloe, eventually prevailing by a nose. View the 2018 Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle result and replay here.

Where can I get Cheltenham Festival tickets?

Cheltenham Festival tickets can be purchased from the official festival website here.

Pertemps Final Tip

Favourite on all four starts this season, it’s the form of First Assignment’s race at Haydock, when appearing quickly under a penalty, that catches the eye. Sent off 11-10 to beat a field including Paisley Park, he understandably succumbed to the subsequent Grade 1 winner and finished third. In between that pair was Shades Of Midnight who went on to win the Rendlesham. He may not be thrown in on 142, but is unbeaten in two starts at Cheltenham and could have more to offer.
(James Norris)

1. First Assignment, 2. Cap York, 3. Blaklion

View the racecard and place your bets here.