• Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys H'cap Hurdle

    Gigginstown have run 17 in this. Four won, five were placed and Column Of Fire....

    W Mullins four winners (all novices), P Nicholls, G Elliott and J O'Brien two each. All four have also had at least two other runners placed

    Apart from the very first running, David Pipe no placed finishers

    Three of the last five winning jockeys had already ridden over 40 winners

    Sir Des Champs 2011 the only favourite ever to win

    Ten winners were second-season hurdlers, the other five were novices.

    All bar Early Doors of the last 13 ran within the last 62 days

    Only two of the eight Irish trained winners had previously run in a handicap.

    All seven GB trained winners had run in at least two handicaps.

    13 of the 15 no more than eight hurdle runs

    12 of the 15 had previously ran in a Graded hurdle.

    14 of the 15 had won a hurdle of at least 11 runners

    All winners aged 5, 6 or 7 yrs

    11 of the last 13 finished in the first three on their previous run.

    No winner has ever carried 11st or less.

    No BF last time has ever won


    Race Distance - 2 miles and abt four and a half furlongs. It's a 0-145 handicap. Only £40k to the winner. Going 15 years. I do hope the Pipes win this someday, but it's not easy for them at the moment. In past years their plot horse tends to get too short for a 24-runner handicap hurdle (and will be all the rage the week before). Winner has won at Class 3 level hurdle or placed at least at Listed level. Either won last time or Graded place. Winning jockey likely to have already ridden 30+ winners. Not beaten favourite last time. Usually a compressed handicap, winner's BHA rating from about 135 to 145. Aged 5 and 6 yrs or top weight. Not necessary to have run up a sequence of wins. No more than 11 previous hurdle runs. Out within the last 60 days or in a G1. Has won a hurdle of at least 11 runners or front runs. Gigginstown, G Elliott, J O'Brien, P Nicholls a keen interest. Obviously WPM. If Irish trained, likely to be the horse's first handicap unless ran in this before. Irish novices to be respected. Carrys 11st 1lb plus. Rarely a frontrunner but may have run over further this season. First three last time out or ran in G1. A favourite due. Check Michael Purcell Thurles Novice Hurdle form.

    In 2015 the 3lb allowance for riders riding for their own stable and the 7lb allowance for those who have not ridden a winner have been removed from race conditions. Done to deter trainers 'gambling with inexperience'. BHA wanted to promote booking the best conditionals.

  • Honours Board

    Year ||| Form ||| Winner ||| Age ||| Weight ||| OR ||| SP ||| Trainer ||| Jockey ||| Last Race (No of days)

    2023 ||| 11 ||| Iroko ||| 5 ||| 11-5 ||| 138 ||| 6/1 ||| O Greenall & J Guerriero ||| A Kelly ||| 1st 2m 4f h'cap Wetherby (62) 

    2022 ||| 71 ||| Banbridge ||| 6 ||| 11-3 ||| 137 ||| 12/1 ||| J O'Brien(IRE) ||| M McDonagh ||| 1st 2m Navan Nov Hrdle (55)

    2021 ||| 12P6 ||| Galopin Des Champs ||| 5 ||| 11-9 ||| 142 ||| 8/1 ||| W Mullins(IRE) ||| S O'Keefe ||| 6th Leop G 1 Nov 2m (40)

    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)

  • Evidence

    2023 - JP finishes the Festival with a double as Aidan Kelly stylishly gets Iroko up the hill. A bit outpaced but had the stamina to burn. A first win for Oliver Greenall and Josh Guerriero. At time of writing Young Kelly yet to have another ride for the stable. Nice to see JP continuing to patronise many trainers. A hot topic in 2024. Like all the Britsh trained winners of this, Iroko had already been plying his trade that season in handicaps. Had run the previous season in the G1 Chepstow Juvenile Hurdle. Carried 11-5. Nicky Henderson second with No Ordinary Joe. The Gigginstown connection contnued with Cool Survivor being punted down to 5/1 co fav. 15th. 11 of the 23 Irish trained, best Paul Gilligan's Buddy One in 3rd. Langer Dan won the Coral Cup instead.


    2022 - Poor oul Langer Dan. Comes back. Well, there can't be another Galopin Des Champs in the field this year. No, but you can get brought down early. Whole world knew, after a gentle pipe opener at Taunton. 7/2f. Then won at Aintree. Dan says 'a spring horse.' At the business end of this race Banbridge and Cobblers Dream pulled away from the rest. Joseph's horse just kept on a bit more strongly than the pride of the Case yard. Langer Dan immediate 8/1 fav for 2023.


    2021 - I felt for Langer Dan, 6th in the Boodles in 2020, then hardly beats a horse in three runs. Turns up at Sandown, cruises home indecently in the Imperial Cup at 5/1. Five to one? He's a spring horse, claims trainer. The bonus was the plan. Six days later, well punted at 13/2, held out the back by Lorcan Williams, then scythes through them two out. Coming round the corner, Lorcan thinks 'what a double, this and the Foxhunters!' But no one had told him that there was an aeroplane in front off 142 called Galopin Des Champs. At the last Lorcan thinks, 'still have a shout.' But no, the thing just gets faster. From the last the two of them pull ten lengths clear of something else in third.


    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. Rex (The King) Dingle no mug either with over 50 winners to his name at that time. Bottom weight 11st off 136. Standard is climbing. 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 six yr old carrying the top weight of 11st 10lb got home from the Gigginstown 7/2 fav Dallas Des Pictons, the pair clear. Winner was the 5/1 second fav, having finished 3rd in this in 2018. 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 but 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. Nine of the 23 strong field 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, five 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 three 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 Cl 3 h'cap last time out. Compressed handicap went only down to 132. Four 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 wins 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 four (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.




    14 of the 15 winners had won hurdles containing at least 11 runners (Galopin Des Champs, Ibis Du Rheu and Sir Des Champs all in France). Not Blow By Blow but had won an 11-runner G1 Bumper at Punchestown.


    AGE - All 15 aged five or six yrs bar the two seven yr olds, Blow By Blow and Indefatigable.


    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 2021, 7/1, 7th. Disappointed last year too, after 735 days off. Front View fav, had been 2nd in Thurles, couldn't jump. Nothing came 2021. The Goffer 15th here 2022. Last year Buddy One, second at Thurles, 3rd here.


    11 of the last 13 finished in the first three in their previous run. Iroko and Banbridge had won. Galopin 80/1 6th behind Appreciate It in the DRF G1 2m Novice. My mate Eugene knew. Had 25s for this. I was still keen on Langer Dan.


    Gigginstown have had four winners from 17 runners, five of the other 13 were placed. Their only runner in 2020, Column Of Fire, fell at the last when second. Had every chance. 2021 Dallas Des Pitons 66/1 5th, their best. 2022 Decimation fell at the first. Last year Cool Survivor punted down to 5/1 co fav. 15th.


    JOCKEYS - Aidan Kelly had 20 odd winners in Ireland. Michael McDonagh (7) had ridden Birchdale to win a 17 runner 63k DRF h'cap chase. And had 20 odds winners. Sean O'Keefe had ridden circa 65 winners before this. Rex Dingle's portfolio include a £62k Sandown's Veterans Chase at Sandown. Jonjo O'Neill Jnr, Donagh Meyler, Emmett Mullins and Harry Derham had already ridden over 40 winners each before this. Jonjo's 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. Ability and experience of pilot very relevant in this race. As Pricewise keep hammering, we should pay more attention to jockey bookings.


    In the 1-2-3 of the 14 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 Dingle 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. The best conditionals get the rides.


    TRAINERS - W Mullins - 4 winners, two 3rds, a fourth and a fifth. Has had 20 runners in the last eight. Of those, only Great White Shark gained a place. 3rd at 40s 2020 before Galopin the aeroplane won. Last year, three came, nothing better than 16th, 2022 Adamantly Chosen 11/2 finished 11th last year and also had the 4/1 fav Gentleman De Mee, 10th in 2021. It's not that easy, sometimes.


    G Elliott coming to the party with two winners, a second, three 3rds and a fourth since 2016, And Column Of Fire close when falling. Last year, ran six best Imagine 5/1jt fav in 5th, Firm Footings 6th. Hollow Games 3rd 2022 at 9/2, The Bosses Oscar 5th. Mrs Foster had a 5th, an 8th and Folcano 15/2, a first hurdle faller in 2021.


    Joseph O'Brien has trained two of the last five, Early Doors finished 3rd the year before he won it. Also in 2021 Floueur 3rd at 33s top weight. No runner last year.


    P Nicholls (in the last eight) two winners and three placed. Irish Hill 9/1 10th last year. Nothing in 2022, two down the field in each of the previous two years.


    Sir Des Champs at 9/2 in 2011 only favourite to win. Due. Having said that nothing above 16/1 in the last ten.


    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 2020, Leoncavallo 28s 2021, 6th. None last two year. David is 0-23. I do hope it happens sometime.


    Banbridge, Galopin Des Champs, Blow By Blow, Champagne Classic and Killultagh Vic were novices. Other 10 were second-season hurdlers. Only two winners had more than eight runs over hurdles. Attaglance 14, Indefatigable 11. All bar Early Doors out within the last 62 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 last outing 22 days before this.


    Seven of the last ten had run over further than the 2m 4f earlier in the season. Not Iroko, Galopin. Both Bnabridge and Indefatigable had won over 2m 5f. It's only a furlong.


    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. Galopin had been hiding in plain sight. Iroko and Banbridge never here before

    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 ew on this. You'll get six places on the day. (Unless you really, really know, of course)  

    There were only 14 of them between the last four years but horses carrying 11st or less are 0-102. Buddy One 3rd last year, Party Business a fast finishing 5th 2022, Folcano the only one in 2021, 15/2, fell first.


    Blow By Blow led the whole way. Galopin up there throughout. Banbridge 'prominent'. Nothing else has. Prone to late finishers.


    BLINKERS ETC - 72 have tried so far, Blow By Blow in blinkers wins 11/1, Ibis Du Rheu 14/1 won in the hood he always wore. Noble Endeavour 2nd 2015 'lost on nod.' Four in headgear last year, Cobblers Dream 2nd in his usual hood. Eight in 2021, Dallas Des Picton best in 5th, Three in 2020, two in first time headgear, best 19th. 2019 six ran, best was sixth. Seven ran in 2017, also nothing better than sixth.

    BEATEN FAVOURITES - 39 last time beaten favourites have ran in the 14 races. No winners. Third and fifth last year, mind you. Included Column Of Fire and Umbrigado. None ran in 2021. Do you think they know the stat?