Ultima: Two for Tout as Pipe pulls off amazing race repeat

Un Temps Pour Tout won the Ultima off a 7lb higher mark than last year

PICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos) Two for Tout as Pipe pulls off amazing repeat By JAMES BURN 2:59PM 14 MAR 2017

Report: Cheltenham Festival, Tuesday
Ultima Handicap Chase (Grade 3)
3m1f, 5yo+

DAVID PIPE and Tom Scudamore's love affair with the first handicap of the Cheltenham Festival continued when Un Temps Pour Tout repeated last year's success, providing the pair with their third victory together in the race.

The 12 months since last year's win had been a mixed bag for Un Temps Pour Tout with just one victory, and that in a conditions hurdle at Aintree.

The eight-year-old, who runs in the colours of Caroline Tisdall and Bryan Drew, was well beaten in the Hennessy Gold Cup and then ran only okay behind Unowhatimeanharry in Graded hurdles.

However, if ever there is a team to get one right for a festival handicap, it is the Pond House set-up of first Martin Pipe and now his son David, whose challenger had to fight hard under top weight to repel the fancied Singlefarmpayment by a short head in a thrilling finish.

Noble Endeavor was third with Buywise, who would match Un Temps Pour Tout in the enigmatic stakes, fourth.

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"Getting a winner here is great," said David Pipe, who was recording his 15th winner during the most important week of jump racing.

"It's hard enough getting a runner here, as you've seen in the papers. There's a big difference between finishing first and second and prize-money doesn't matter. This is the Olympics of racing and we're judged on how we do here, maybe too much.

"We fancied him in the Hennessy and things didn't work out. I'd like to say this was the plan all along, but it wasn't it.

"It was a great performance and Tom gave him an amazing ride. He got into a great rhythm and I thought he was tiring but he responded well."

He continued: "I thought this was more competitive than last year – there was more depth in the race – but he found a lot under pressure. He's not over-big, but he's neat and economical.

"He's a very good horse on a going day and you could tell early on he was going to run a very big race. He's won twice here and won a French Champion Hurdle, so he's some horse."

Scudamore, whose first festival winner came in this race on the Pipe-trained An Accordion in 2008, took his score to ten.

"Amazing," beamed the jockey, denied possibly the biggest thrill of his career when Thistlecrack was ruled out of Friday's Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup.

"It's a wonderful training performance and David and the team have done all the hard work – it's great for everybody at Pond House."

Touching on Un Temps Pour Tout's unpredictability, Scudamore added: "He's a funny horse and you don't know which version will turn up – I'd like to ask him!"

Pipe has no sexy plans for the eight-year-old, who was considered for the Randox Health Grand National this year but not entered in the end. That could be an option next season and Scudamore said: "I don't see why not."

The 9-1 winner is entered in the BoyleSports Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse and the race sponsor clipped him to 14-1 (from 20).

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