Paddy Power Plate Tips - 3:40pm Cheltenham

Previously known as the Mildmay Of Flete, the Festival Plate is a handicap chase run over the intermediate trip of 2m 4f 127yds of the new course. Novices have an excellent record in the race with the past 5 winners novices or second season chasers. All five of those had contested a graded novice hurdle or novice chase. An outsider can win this with 25/1, 33/1 and 50/1 winners in the past ten years although the last three winners have all been well supported and under 5/1. David Pipe has won the race 3 times in the past 11 years and collectively with his Father Martin have won 7 of the last 23 renewals. Two other trainers who have won the race multiple times are Venetia Williams and Nicky Henderson. Ireland have won 3 of the past 5 runnings and as with all the handicaps this week expect a maximum field of 24 runners.

Gordon Elliott/Denise Foster and Gigginstown are responsible for Farclas who brings good Irish handicap form to the table

**Caribean Boy **represents Nicky Henderson, who’s done well in this race in the past and with no other entries looks likely to run. He was a tad disappointing last time at Ascot though but that was at 2m and he will appreciate stepping up in trip. His jockey Daryl Jacob seems bullish about his chance.

Mick Channon’s Mister Whittaker was 3rd in this last year, beaten just 3 lengths and is now 2lb lower. He’s a lively outsider at around 33/1. His Cheltenham Festival form figures read 1P3 with the P when he didn’t stay 3 miles in the Ultima.

The Skelton’s have entered Oldgangewood He finished a respectable 4th in this last year and can now race off of mark 1lb lower.

Happy Diva loves this track and Kerry Lee’s mare finished runner up in this event last season to Simply The Betts. She’s 4lb lower now but has rather disappointed on her last two starts and is getting no younger at 10 years of age. She also has the option of the new Mares Chase this year around.

Fils D’oudairies is an interesting entry. Trained in Ireland by Joseph O’Brien in County Kilkenny he’s only raced under rules four times. His best run was when only beaten 3 1/2 lengths by Envoi Allen at Punchestown over this intermediate trip and although no match for the winner and in receipt of 11lb it was still a fine effort against a possible superstar. He again was flying too high when well beaten by Monkfish at the Dublin Racing Festival. He’s only six year’s old and experience may hold him back. O’Brien also has A Wave Of The Sea entered, a winner at Leopardstown in February although as number 40 here will need plenty of luck in getting a run.

The Pipe team have such a good record in this race that anything they saddle is worth a second look. This time round they have Eamon An Cnoic.

A fiendishly hard handicap with several holding decent claims. Previous Festival form is always helpful and last season’s third Mister Whittaker may prove decent each way value at a big price for Mick Channon.

Punters Lounge Tip: Mister Whittaker @ 33/1 EW 1/5th 12345 at William Hill - Click Here To Bet

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