DAVID PIPE INTERVIEW - 24/02/2016


David Pipe is a Grand National winning trainer and has taken on all the expectations following his dad Martin's retirement in his stride.  David took time out from his busy schedule to answer a few questions about his Cheltenham hopes and memories;

From memory, what has been your all-time highlight of the Festival?

It has to be Gaspara – my first winner at the Cheltenham Festival and to put the icing on the cake, she was owned by my father.

Apart from Cheltenham what would you say your favourite racecourse is and your favourite race meeting in the calendar year?

Away from Cheltenham, Exeter is a great track and just down the road.  My favourite meeting has to be the Punchestown Festival – an atmosphere unlike any other!

Obviously there must have been high hopes for Moon Racer after he burst on to the scene last season.  How has he been doing and is there any chance we will see him at Cheltenham this season and if not will he go to Aintree?

We are doing our best to get him to Cheltenham and if he does make it, he will run in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.  He is pleasing me at home but his participation is still very much touch and go.  If we are not 100% satisfied with him, he will not go and we will look at the other festivals at Aintree and Punchestown.

I thought Dynaste ran another cracker at the weekend when 2nd to Silviniaco Conti.  Are you hoping to run him in the Ryanair and surely if he does at 20/1 he looks a huge price?

He ran very well and this was a step back in the right direction.  The plan is to run him in the Ryanair again if all goes well between now and then.

How is Kings Palace doing?  Do you hope he will go to the Festival, if so what would your race preference be?  And bearing in mind he has ran well fresh in the past are you hopeful of a big run?

Kings Palace is fine and he has entries over both hurdles and fences at the Cheltenham Festival.  He has always been a quality individual so we are always hopeful of a big run, although I am also mindful of the fact that he has disappointed twice at the Festival.  No decision on where he will run will be made until much nearer the time.

Champers on Ice has been on my "Most Promising" list this season after some excellent performances including his most recent 3rd behind the talented Yanworth and Shantou Village.  What would be your long term aims for him?

Champers is a lovely horse and he has done very well over hurdles which has to be considered a bonus as he was bought as an embryonic chaser and that is where his real future lies.  He will run in the Albert Bartlett at the Cheltenham Festival.

Un Temps Pour Tout has been entered in to a few races at Cheltenham, do you have one specific aim for him and are you going to revert back to 3 miles?

Un Temps Pour Tout has run well over fences without quite attaining the level of his hurdles form.  He has entries in the Brown Advisory Handicap, JLT and RSA Chases, while he still has the option to revert back to hurdles for the World Hurdle.  I will discuss the options with his owners and we will decide nearer the time.

The race in your dad's name is a race you are yet to win and I noticed Unanimite in the betting the other day, I know you've fancied him in the past, do you hope he could win the race this year?  If not, who would be your leading fancy for the race?

It is a race that I have wanted to win ever since it was introduced for obvious reasons!  I have had quite a few attempts already and it will probably be a case of winning it when I am least expecting it!  I have five entries this time around; Starchitect and Dell’ Arca (who have other entries at the meeting) and Fingertips, Batavir and Mount Haven who may struggle to get in looking through the fields historically.  The Festival handicaps are very much like a jigsaw puzzle – we will do our best to find out the opposition in each race and choose the target which gives us the best chance of success.  I will have a better idea of who goes where when the weights are announced.
 
We didn’t enter Unanimité in the Martin Pipe, his intended target is the Pertemps handicap hurdle final.

What from your yard would be your best bet for the week?

The Cheltenham Festival is the pinnacle of our sport and I think that any trainer not named Mullins would be pleased to get just one winner there.  There are no easy races but the bookmakers’ prices would suggest that Doctor Harper should go well.

Are there any horses that you believe could develop in to a future Gold Cup contender?

Kings Palace has always had the potential but has not fulfilled it yet.

If you had to back a horse not in your stable each way for a race at Cheltenham what would it be?

Each way Road To Riches, Gold Cup


Thank you very much for your time David and all the best for Cheltenham and the future.  If you would like to know more information about the team at Pond House their website - www.davidpipe.com - is an excellent and informative site and also has regularly updated blog posts from David and the team.