Year |||Form||| Winner||| Age||| Weight||| OR |||SP||| Trainer||| Jockey||| Last Race (No of days)
2020 |||52231||| Indefatigable||| 7 |||11-9 |||145||| 25/1 |||P Webber |||R Dingle |||1st Lstd Warwick Lstd M Hurdle 2m 5f (34)
2019||| 52||| Early Doors||| 6||| 11-10||| 145|||5/1 |||J O'Brien(IRE)||| J O'Neill jnr |||2nd G1 Leop G1 3m (81)
2018||| 32161 |||Blow By Blow |||7||| 11-10||| 144||| 11/1||| G Elliott(IRE) |||D Meyler |||1st G3 Thurles Nov (23)
2017 |||23213 |||Champagne Classic |||6 |||11-3 |||138||| 12/1 ||| G Elliott(IRE)||| JJ Slevin |||3rd G3 Thurles Nov (22)
2016 |||235||| Ibis du Rheu |||5 |||11-7||| 139 |||14/1 |||P Nicholls |||J Sherwood |||5th G3 Sandown H'cap 3m (41)
2015 |||123||| Killultagh Vic||| 6 |||11-1||| 135||| 7/1 |||W Mullins(IRE)||| L Dempsey||| 3rd G2 Leop Nov. (47)
2014||| 211 |||Don Poli |||5 |||11-5||| 143||| 12/1 |||W Mullins (IRE)||| M Fogarty (3) ||| 1st G3 Clonmel Nov 3m (22)
2013 |||4251 |||Salubrious||| 6 |||11-5||| 141||| 16/1||| P Nicholls |||H Derham (3)||| 1st Cl3 M'burgh H'cap (40)
2012||| 135P1 ||| Attaglance |||6 |||11-3||| 139||| 20/1 |||M Jefferson||| H Haynes (3)||| 1st CL3 Market Rasen H'cap 2m 2f (26)
2011 |||1 |||Sir Des Champs||| 5||| 11-3 |||134 |||9/2F |||W Mullins(IRE) |||E Mullins (3) |||1st Rated Navan Hurdle 2m (52)
2020 - Front View all the rage the fortnight before. The JP, Jonjo Jnr ridden 4/1 SP fav. Kevin Blake is Joseph's race planner. To give him credit as he was scorned at the Belfast Preview, Kevin did say 'although well handicapped, his jumping might not be up to scratch.' Proved spot on. If Column Of Fire with the weight of the Gigginstown stat (only runner) hadn't come down at the last, Gordon Top Festival Trainer 2020? Maybe. It was left to Paul Webber's Indefatigable to mug a lonely Pileon on the line. Post-race, the morning 40s after that December CD run when she had tried to give 5lb to Dame De Compagnie, the pair clear, looked...well...fecking huge. Rex (The King) Dingle no mug either with over 50 winners. Last season had already ridden Jepeck to win a £62 Sandown veterans chase. Bottom weight 11st off 136. Standard climbing. No claims. Umbrigado, the Pipe runner, backed to 9s, nowhere. You do feel for David, in his quest.
2019 - Joseph O'Brien brought a bittersweet Festival Day to a close (Sir Erec) when Early Doors, a JP owned, Jonjo Jnr ridden 6 yr old carrying the top weight of 11st 10lb got home from the Gigginstown 7/2 fav Dallas Des Pictons, the pair clear. Its wasn't a great result for the layers, Early Doors was the 5/1 second fav, having finished 3rd in this in 2018. Jockeys don't claim in this now. Donagh Meyler rode the fav here having won it on Blow By Blow. Gigginstown/Elliott responsible for 2nd and 3rd. Bottom weight was 4th and got in with a rating of 126. Dallas Des Pictons, if winning, would have meant Gordon drew level with Willie on three winners. Would have still lost it 5-2 on countback for second places.
2018 - Gigginstown make it four from the last eight when Blow By Blow leads from start to finish, their only runner in the race. Fine front running ride from Donagh Meyler. 9 of the 23 strong field are Irish Trained, fill the 1-2-3-4. N Henderson best of the rest in 5th and 6th. Non-claiming Irish jockeys also filled the first four places. Top weight winner carrying 11st 10 lbs
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 Elliott 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 non claiming 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.
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 Champs 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.
11 of the 12 winners had won hurdles containing at least 11 runners (Ibis Du Rheu and Sir Des Champs in France). Not Blow By Blow but had won an 11 runner G1 Bumper at Punchestown.
THURLES - The Michael Purcell 2m 5f novice on 20th February has a recent history with this. 2018 Blow By Blow won both (hard to believe now, I know), Champagne Classic on 2017 was 3rd at Thurles before winning at Cheltenham. W Mullins's Five O'Clock and disappointed last year, 7/1, 7th. Front View fav, had been 2nd in Thurles.
9 of the last ten finished in the first three in their previous run.
Gigginstown have 4 winners from 12 runners, five of the other eight were placed. Their only runner in 2020, Column Of Fire, fell at the last when second. Had every chance.
JOCKEYS - Rex Dingle's portfolio outlined above. Jonjo O'Neill Jnr Donagh Meyler, Emmett Mullins and Harry Derham had already ridden over 40 winners each before this. Jonjo biggest win had been a Listed Lanzarote Hurdle, Donagh Meyler had already won a 95k Paddypower Chase, Harry had won at least a Greatwood Hurdle. Jack Sherwood and JJ Slevin both over 30 winners. I think ability and experience of pilot very relevant in this race. As Pricewise likes to say, we should pay more attention to jockey bookings.
In the 1-2-3 of the 12 years only Henry Brooke (6) and Joseph Palmowski (6) has gained a place for jockeys who would be claiming more than 3 lbs (Henry 2nd on Son Of Flicka 2011. Joseph 2nd on Thomas Crapper in 2017. To be honest, T Crapper probably knew his way around Prestbury Park better than Joseph). Declan Lavery (6) fourth 2016 for W Mullins on Make Your Mark. In 2020 Rex pipped Ben Jones and Donal McInerney, both normally 3lb claimers. That season Ben had won the Newbury Ladbroke on de Rasher Counter and Donal has a career total of over 70 winners in Ire and the UK.
The system has changed in 2018. No claims now. Best conditionals get the rides.
TRAINERS - G Elliott coming to the party with two winners, a second, two thirds and a fourth in the last four years. And Column Of Fire. The Bosses Oscar 5th 2020 Joseph O'Brien, a 1st and a 3rd.
W Mullins 3 winners, two thirds, a fourth and a fifth. Has had 13 runners in the last five. Of those, only Great White Shark gained a place. 3rd at 40s last year.
P Nicholls (in the last six) two winners and 3 placed. Two down the field last year
Sir Des Champs at 9/2 in 2011 only favourite of the eleven to win. Due. Having said that nothing above 16/1 in the last seven.
DAVID PIPE - Had been reported that both Grand Crus and Dynaste were balloted out of this in their respective years. With Gevrey Chambertain well punted, tends to obviously suggest that Pond House keep trying to aim something useful here. Mr Big Shot, unbeaten over three turned up for them in 2018, unplaced, 'improve for run' said Racing Post. No runners in the 2019, Umbrigado 11th last year. He's 0-20.
Blow By Blow, Champagne Classic and Killultagh Vic were novices. Other 9 were second-season hurdlers. Only two winners had more than 8 runs over hurdles. Attaglance 14, Indefatigable 11. All bar Early Doors out within the last 52 days. He had jogged around after Apples Jade in the Leopardstown Xmas G1 over three miles, got a h'cap mark in England of 145 and then hid in his box. Blow By Blow in 22 days.
6 of the last seven had run over further than the 2m 4f earlier in the season. Indefatigable last time out won over 2m 5f.
Indefatigable had been 5th in the Mares Hurdle 2019, Early Doors had been 3rd in the 2018 renewal of this. Only Killutagh Vic 2015 6th in the Bumper and Pause And Clause 2010 3rd in the Coral Cup had previous Festival from. The previous Festival.
Now is a 0-145 handicap as opposed to 0-140 previously. Will be over 150 entries each year. Outsider of field at 6 day stage normally priced at 33s. Overround 300% plus. Do not bet ante-post on this. (Unless you really know, of course) Do wish I would take my own advice.
There were only two of them last year but horses carrying 11st or less are 0-89.
Blow By Blow led the whole way. Nothing else has. Prone to late finishers.
BLINKERS ETC - 57 have tried so far, Blow By Blow in blinkers wins 11/1, Ibis Du Rheu 14/1 won in his hood they always wore. Noble Endeavour 2nd 2015 'lost on nod.' 3 last year, two in first time headgear, best i 9th. 2019 6 ran, best was sixth. 7 ran in 2017, also nothing better than sixth.
BEATEN FAVOURITES - 36 last time beaten favourites have ran in the 12 races. No winners. Included Column Of Fire and Umbrigado.
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. I take no responsibility for (but am keen to hear of) any factual errors. (Bgault01@gmail.com, @gaultstats). Previous years ‘stats on stats’ would suggest we may identify a decent priced winner from manageable groups every three or four races. 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.