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Pipe hopeful he can start and end with a bang.

Byline: SEB VANCE

MARTIN PIPE yesterday singled out three of his biggest chances at the Cheltenham Festival, which the trainer believes could both start and end with a bang.

The 14-time champion trainer harbours hopes of glory with established stable stars Well Chief, Celestial Gold and Our Vic, but firmly believes the lesser-profile trio of Marcel, Sixo and Tamarinbleu should be followed.

Pipe reckons the prolific Marcel, a nine-time winner this season, can register the trainer's 33rd win at the Festival by taking the opening Supreme Novices' Hurdle under Timmy Murphy.

``He's very well,'' the trainer told the Pipeline. ``Timmy came down this week and sat on Marcel, gave him a gallop and was pleased with him.

``Forget his last run at Exeter where the ground was atrocious - he didn't like that at all.

``He jumps, will love the ground and he's the one for me. Timmy will just sit in behind the leaders and then hopefully come through at the end. He should give us a big start.''

Sixo, running in the colours of the late Jean Broadhurst, who died earlier this week, is fancied for the National Hunt Chase a week today.

Pipe said: ``He won very nicely for us at Chepstow and then ran a good second to Distant Thunder over three miles.

``He's by Roselier, he'll love the trip of four miles and jumps and stays really well. Andrew Glassonbury, who has schooled him at home, will ride him and he's a good amateur.

``Because he's only won one novice chase, he gets a 4lb penalty and we expect a big run. It would be great if he could win for Jean Broadhurst.''

The Ladbroke Handicap Hurdle winner Tamarinbleu is weighted to do himself justice in the closing County Hurdle, according to Pipe.

He said: ``Tamarinbleu is a really nice horse. He won well at Sandown and gets in here with 10st 6lb if Rooster Booster runs on 11st 12lb.

``He ran a good second at Warwick, where it was very heavy ground, and the handicapper put him up for finishing second. That shows how well he ran.''

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Martin Pipe Nominated three to follow
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Mar 10, 2005
Words:360
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