2017 - Champagne Classic at 12s, Michael O'Leary's 'worst horse' and a novice, wins very cosily under a non claimer, JJ Slevin, for G Eliott who was confirming top trainer at the Festival. His 6th run over hurdles, the horse was a six yr old carrying 11st 3 rated 1lb less than he was in Ireland? Running in his first handicap As was G Elliott's third place, Runfordave. Bottom weight 11st. Dell' Arca only Pipe representative, 18th. Winner never here before. Previous run, third in a Thurles G3 over 2m 4f.
2016 - P Nicholls continues his targeting of the Festival h'caps with 5yr old Ibis Du Rheu 14s in a hood he always wore carrying 11st 7 lb, rating 139 ridden by Jack Sherwood, a non claiming jockey. Price 14s. Won by a length from the in form Twiston davies trained Flying Angel fresh from winning the Imperial Cup at Sandown six days previous. His 6lb penalty got him into the race as bottom weight carried 11st 3 lb before allowance. Best Irish trained was Willie's Whiteout 5th at 33s. Ibis hadn't been out for 41 days and his only course form was 6th in the January Juvenile Trial in 2015. No Pipe runners. Changing times.
2015 - Only two Pipe runners, both unfancied, both unplaced. W Mullins getting a taste for this saddling 1st and 3rd from 3 runners. Killutagh Vic 7/1 won again for second season hurdlers (but still a novice). 6th in previous years Champion Bumper and came here from 3rd in January Leopardstown G2 novice over 2m 4f (finishing just behind Martello Tower). Irish trained 1-2-3-4. Had only won a maiden hurdle this season. He was 6 yrs old and this was his 5th run over hurdles. Lowest weight was 11st 1lb off 135 (the rating of the winner). Luke Dempsey was an unclaiming jockey under the new rules and was the 5th in a row to win this having already ridden 20+ winners. Roi Des Francs (the well backed 3/1 fav) in 3rd had previously won the Clonmel G3 won in 2014 by Don Poli. Blow by Blow
2014 - Pipe runner was Vieux Lion Rouge unbeaten in three, backed from 7s to 5s, finished 21st. W Mullins wins with 12/1 Don Poli, 5 yr old carrying 11st 5lbs off 143. Mikey Fogarty (claiming 3lbs) said he was 'flat out for the first mile and a half.' Horse had 3 hurdle runs, winning its last 2. Has run previous season in France. Never ran on course before. Handicap ranged from 146 to 133 (10st 12lbs)
'13 - D Pipe had 14 of the 198 entries . Only one runner, Gevrey Chambertain (full brother to Grand Crus). Hammered on course down from 5/1 to 9/4 fav (23 runners). Pulled up. P Nicholls won with Salubrious rated 141, winner last time of a Cl3 h'cap, a 6 yr old carrying 11st 8lbs ridden by Harry Derham (3). Price 16/1. 5 previous runs over hurdles. Had finished unpl in a previous on course bumper. Had won 2 previous hurdles. Lowest weight in h'cap was 10st 12.1
'12 - Attaglance off 139 at 16s completed a Festival handicap hurdle double for Malcolm Jefferson. Beat a pausing Toner D'Oudairies. He was a six year old and won a Cl3 h'cap last time out. Compressed handicap went only down to 132. 4 Pipe runners got in best in 10th, Street Entertainer one of theirs at 5/1, beaten when fell. All the rage at Belfast Preview night 10 days earlier. AH Haynes (3) rode. Attaglance had 13 previous hurdle runs.
'11 - Sir Des Champs 134 just got up with a well timed ride from Emmett Mullins (3). 9/2 favourite, a five yr old, won only previous hurdle run over 2 miles in Ireland. Closest Pipe finisher Shoegazer 9th at 13/2. Sir Des never been here before.
'10 - Pause And Clause 137 won for Emma Lavelle at 14s carrying 11st 10lbs off 137. J Farrelly had no claim. Pause had also decent course form, having finished 3rd to Ninetieth Minute in the '09 Coral Cup. This win was his 7th run over hurdles. Had won a Cl2. Best Pipe finisher Ashkazar 7th and fav.
'09 - N Henderson won this with Andytown at 25/1, a son of Old Vic who had won a 2 mile handicap hurdle over the course in November. Andytown had finished last of 4 (a novice chase) last time out. He was a six yr old carrying 11 st 2lb off 133. Andytown was the first course (and distance) winner to win a handicap hurdle at the Festival for quite some time. This win was his 8th hurdle run. Best Pipe finisher Big Eared Fran 3rd and fav.
All 9 had won hurdles containing at least 11 runners (Ibis Du Rheu and Sir Des Champs in France).
Emmett Mullins and Harry Derham had already ridden over 50 winners before this, Harry had won at least a Greatwood Hurdle. Jack Sherwood and JJ Slevin both over 30 winners. As Pricewise likes to say, we should pay more attention to jockey bookings.
Had been reported that both Grand Crus and Dynaste were balloted out of this in their respective years. With Gevrey Chambertain, tends to obviously suggest that Pond House keep trying to aim something useful here. If they have anything useful, any more.
Only Champagne Classic and Killultagh Vic weren't second season hurdlers. Both novices. Only one had more than 7 runs over hurdles. All 9 out within the last 52 days.
TRAINERS - W Mullins 3 winners, a third, a fourth and a fifth. P Nicholls (in the last four) two winners and 3 placed. 2015 only a 6th and 7th. G Elliott came to the party with a 1-3 last year.
JOCKEYS - In the 1-2-3 of the 9 years only Henry Brooke (6) and Joseph Palmowski (6) has gained a place for jockeys claiming more than 3 lbs (Henry 2nd on Son Of Flicka 2011. Joseph 2nd on Thomas Crapper last year. To be honest, T Crapper probably knew his way round Prestbury Park better than Joseph). No claimers in the first 6 home last year. Declan Lavery (6) fourth 2016 for W Mullins on Make Your Mark.
Sir Des Champs 9/2 only favourite to win so far.
Now is a 0-145 handicap as opposed to 0-140 previously. 164 entries in 2017, four more than last year. Outsider of field at 6 day stage normally priced at 33s. Do not bet ante post on this.
BLINKERS - 49 have tried so far, Ibis Du Rheu won in his hood he always wore. Noble Endeavour 2nd 2015 'lost on nod.' 7 last year, nothing better than sixth.
25 last time beaten favourites have ran in the 9 races. No winners.
Wealth Warning. Any decisions made (or not) or the basis of any information in this site are the sole responsibility of the reader. There is no obligation on me to follow my own advice (Gary). I take no responsibility for (but am keen to hear of) any factual errors. Previous years ‘stats on stats’ would suggest we may identify a decent priced winner from manageable groups every three or four races. I tend to improve as a tipster as the week goes on, possibly too worried on the Tuesday. It is believed that Savello (2014 Grand Annual) took from Golden Chieftain (2013 3m hcap chase) the record for breaking the most stats in a race. Stands now at 8. Cole Harden equalised with 8 in the 2015 World Hurdle. Remember, after you have cursed/laughed at me and given up totally on trends, they will come back to bite. Always happens. Usually on Gold Cup Day Beware GO SEA - Groundless Optimism Syndrome Encouraged by Alcohol. A Cotswold condition very common at this time of year.