The Pertemps Final is the Festival's only staying handicap hurdle and there is invariably a large field for this stamina test.
It is run over the same course and distance as the Stayers' Hurdle later in the day and frequently features a thrilling finish.
Established in 1974, the race was originally called the Coral Golden Hurdle Final. It had various sponsors since, with Pertemps supporting the race from 2002.
To secure a berth in the Final, a horse must finish in the first four in one of 20 Pertemps Series qualification races run during the season at venues across the UK, as well as in France and Ireland.
Dual Pertemps Final winner Sire Du Berlais (2019/20) went on the win the Stayers' Hurdle in 2023, while other recent winners, Presenting Percy (2017) and Delta Work (2018), have subsequently enjoyed Grade 1 success over fences.
PERTEMPS FINAL TRENDS
Gordon Elliott not only trained the winner of the Pertemps Final three years in a row from 2018-20, but the first and second in 2018 and 2020.
Fingal Bay (2014) & Sire Du Berlais (2020) both carried top weight to victory, while Presenting Percy was just 1lb off (2017).
Festival perennial Buena Vista won in 2010 and 2011, having finished second in 2009, while Sire Du Berlais was also a dual winner.
Good Time Jonny, Mrs Milner, Sire Du Berlais, Presenting Percy and Mall Dini are recent Pertemps Final winners who all qualified via the Leopardstown qualifier in December.
LAST 5 WINNERS’ DATA
Good Time Jonny came from last turning for home to win the 2023 Pertemps Final and give trainer Tony Martin his seventh Festival winner, but a first since 2015.
It was a first win at the Festival for claiming jockey Liam McKenna, who showed great patience to sit and wait before picking his way through traffic on the run in:
Third Wind, fourth in 2020 off the same mark, edged the Pertemps Final in 2022 despite a stewards inquiry, called as the first two came close together in the closing stages.
The result was allowed to stand for jockey Tom O'Brien and trainer Hughie Morrison, who was made to wait before celebrating his second Cheltenham Festival winner:
The 2021 Pertemps winner was Mrs Milner, ridden by Bryan Cooper:
Sire Du Berlais recorded back-to-back victories in 2020 and three Pertemps Final wins in a row for trainer Gordon Elliott.
Off a 7lb higher mark than the previous year and wearing first-time blinkers, he just held off stable companion The Storyteller:
Barry Geraghty had given him a superb ride in 2019, to win by a neck despite having been backed at over 200/1 in-running:
After a titanic tussle, Delta Work beat his stablemate Glenloe by a nose in 2018 - another 1-2 for Gordon Elliott:
Presenting Percy 2017
Mall Dini 2016
Call The Cops 2015
There was a thrilling renewal of the Pertemps Final in 2014, as Fingal Bay prevailed by a nose despite crashing through the final flight:
Buena Vista 2010
Back in 1998, Tony McCoy bolted up on Unsinkable Boxer after trainer Martin Pipe told him before the race:
Taberna Lord 1987
Looking back further, the 1983 final was won by future Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Forgive ‘n Forget:
Another of the earlier winners was a horse who became something of a Festival legend.
Winner of what is now the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle in 1973, Willie Wumpkins later won this race three times on the trot, sealing the hat-trick in 1981 at the ripe old age of 13: