Cheltenham - At The Races

17:30 Cheltenham 15 Mar 2019

Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle (Class 2) (4YO plus)

Winner £43,330 - 24 ran

7

2m 4f 56y

Good to Soft

View Course Guide

Weighed In

Last year’s race

Blow By Blow
  • Winner: Blow By Blow
  • Jockey: D Meyler
  • Trainer: G Elliott
  • Owner: Gigginstown House Stud
  • Age: 7 Weight: 11st 10lb
  • Starting Price: 11/1
  • Season Form Figures: : 32161
  • Previous Best: 1st - Michael Purcell Memorial Novice Hurdle (Grade 3), Thurles (Feb 2017)

This will be the 11th running of the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle, or The Boys’ Race as you might hear trainers regularly like to call it, or “Dad’s Race” in David Pipe’s case and the six winners since it was upgraded to a 0-145 handicap. The last seven winners were all officially rated 138+ heading into the contest. In fact, Blow By Blow won off top weight last season.

Trends need more time to bed in but it is certainly of interest that all ten winners were first or second-season hurdlers and aged five or six. In fact, of the 40 horses to pay a win or place dividend, only four were not in their first or second season over timber.

Of the 40 horses to pay a win or place dividend, only four were not in their first or second season over timber.

The last two winners were novices representing Gordon Elliott and Gigginstown, hence why their novice, Dallas Des Pictons, is likely to be very well fancied this season. Gigginstown have owned four of the ten winners and had four other placed horses so also watch out for their entries. Part reason why they fare so well is they produce stayers and this is a handicap where horses moving down in trip fare better than those upped in distance given how stern a stamina test is at the trip. In an Irish-dominated race last season where they supplied the 1-2-3-4 (in particular take note of their handicap debutants), Gordon Elliott saddled the winner and fourth a year on from saddling the winner and third. A former amateur rider for Martin Pipe, this is a special race for him.

This handicap has to be close to the top of Pond House’s hit list at the start of each season but it has just hasn’t happened for them so far with the best two horses they have aimed at the race, Dynaste and Grand Crus, not getting in for being officially rated too high or too low at the time to get a run. So far just one of Pipe’s 18 runners has hit the frame.

It has been a different story for Willie Mullins however who has won it with class acts such as Sir Des Champs, Don Poli and Killultagh Vic. Paul Nicholls won with Salubrious six years ago and then supplied the third, fourth and sixth from his only three runners the following year. He was also back in the winner’s enclosure three years ago with Ibis du Rheu so it’s clearly a race that he has got to grips with.

At a glance summary

Positives
Trained by Willie Mullins, Paul Nicholls and Gordon Elliott
Owned by Gigginstown House Stud
Horses moving down in distance
Negatives
More than two seasons over hurdles
Officially rated lower than 139
Trained by David Pipe
Horses taking a step up in trip
Previous Winners
Year Going Ran Winner Draw Age Weight OR Form Last run Trainer (Distance) Jockey SP Time
2018 Soft 23 Blow By Blow 7 11 10 144 1-32161 22 days G Elliott D Meyler 11/1 5:22.10
2017 Good 23 Champagne Classic 6 11 3 138 123213 22 days G Elliott J J Slevin 12/1 4:55.80
2016 Good 24 Ibis Du Rheu 5 11 7 139 164-235 41 days P Nicholls (69 miles) J Sherwood 14/1 4:52.00
2015 Soft 21 Killultagh Vic 6 11 1 135 16-5123 47 days W P Mullins L P Dempsey 7/1 5:03.00
2014 Good 24 Don Poli 5 11 8 143 2-211 22 days W P Mullins M P Fogarty 12/1 4:48.10
2013 Soft 23 Salubrious 6 11 8 141 71-4251 40 days P Nicholls (69 miles) H Derham 16/1 5:18.50
2012 Good 24 Attaglance 6 11 6 139 8135P1 26 days J M Jefferson (194 miles) H Haynes 20/1 4:51.50
2011 Good 23 Sir Des Champs 5 11 6 134 63061-1 52 days W P Mullins E Mullins 9/2 4:45.20
2010 Soft 24 Pause And Clause 6 11 10 137 30-445U 27 days Emma Lavelle (44 miles) J Farrelly 14/1 5:03.40
2009 Good to Soft 23 Andytown 6 11 5 133 03-4134 34 days N Henderson (51 miles) F de Giles 25/1 4:58.52