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Classy hurdler The Liquidator 12/1 for Cheltenham Festival glory

David Pipe’s classy gelding The Liquidator is the 12/1 third-favourite for the Supreme Novices Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival after romping home on a memorable Cheltenham Open meeting Sunday for the Pond House trainer.

Pipe emulated the achievements of his father – the legendary Martin Pipe – when cheering home four of his horses at combined odds of almost 6000/1 in the Cotswolds.

Stable jockey Tom Scudamore was on board for Dell Arca’s win in the Greatwood Hurdle and The Liquidator’s 15-length procession in The Sharp Novices’ Hurdle, which is a trial for the main event in March.

The Liquidator went off at 6/4 second-favourite odds behind J P Ferguson’s even-money jolly Sea Lord, who was well-fancied to win for the seventh time in a row under jockey Denis O’Regan.

Pipe’s five-year-old had far too much in hand for the Irish-bred gelding and The Liquidator has now won four of his last five outings on good, soft and heavy ground.

The horse’s in-form trainer could go into the Supreme Novices Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival mob-handed as Dell Arca earned a 20/1 quote for the renewal, which takes place on the 11th March, although connections did not confirm the four-year-old’s plans for the rest of the campaign.

Nicky Henderson’s West Wizard leads the market at 8/1 followed by Willie Mullins’ Briar Hill, who won the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival by an impressive eight lengths last spring.

The Liquidator finished nine and three-quarter lengths back in fourth place out of 23 starters on that occasion, but he has taken to life over obstacles brilliantly and is likely to be kept fresh at home between now and March.

Pipe took the first race on the final day of the Cheltenham Open meeting with 40/1 shot Home Run under Kieron Edgar and Timmy Murphy steered 7/2 joint-favourite Red Sherlock to a Bumper victory in the last wearing the colours of late owner David Johnson.