Fighting Fifth Hurdle Guide

Newcastle - November 28 2020
Newcastle 14:05
7
Aidan Coleman

Epatante

J:
 
Aidan Coleman
T:
 
Nicky Henderson
Age: 6
Weight: 11-0
OR: 162
Days: 263

The JP McManus owned superstar has been seen six times since coming to England under Nicky Henderson and has gone on to land five of her six races, including to Grade One events

Last season she started off in the Gerry Feilden Intermediate Hurdle at Newbury and then on her final start before Cheltenham landing the Grade One Christmas Hurdle at Kempton on Boxing Day.

This set her up perfectly for the Champion Hurdle when going off favourite and under a cool ride by Barry Geraghty went on to land the prestigious event with ease.

She is the mare to beat in the two mile hurdling division again this season and getting 7lb off the boys in this event makes her the one to beat.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
29/04/23PUN19Gd/Y11-74
13/04/23AIN20GS11-34
14/03/23CHL20Sft11-58
28/01/23DON16.5Gd11-81
26/12/22KEM16Sft11-32
Newcastle - November 28 2020
Newcastle 14:05
4
Daryl Jacob

Sceau Royal

J:
 
Daryl Jacob
T:
 
Alan King
Age: 8
Weight: 11-7
OR: 158
Days: 21

The Alan King trained eight year old has been tried over both hurdles and fences during his career and although winning races like the Shloer Chase and Henry VIII Novices Chase over the bigger obstacles, last term showed that he was not good enough at the top level.

This has now seen his handler move him back to hurdles and it looks to be the right move off the back of his seasonal debut when taking the Welsh Champion Hurdle.

He used that run to the go on and land the the Grade Two Elite Hurdle at Wincanton next time out and although impressive, stepping into Grade One company is a different ball game and he will have to improve again.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
25/11/23ASC19.5Gd11-45
22/10/23KEM16Gd11-64
13/04/23AIN20GS11-106
26/02/23FON19Gd11-102
05/02/23LEO17Y11-123
Newcastle - November 28 2020
Newcastle 14:05
5
Tom O'Brien

Silver Streak

J:
 
Tom O'Brien
T:
 
Evan Williams
Age: 7
Weight: 11-7
OR: 158
Days: 41

The Evan Williams trained Silver Streak will hoping to land his first ever Grade One event as the grey heads into the event off the back of a smart seasonal debut.

The star seven year old could finally make the jump up to landing a Grade One event having finish Third in a Champion Hurdle two seasons ago and finishing second in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton and if finding that form has a live chance.

Kempton seems to be a happy hunting ground for the gelding having landed back to back renewals off the Listed two miles hurdle contest on his seasonal debut and if converting that form should give the favourite a scare.

The only negative for the horse is that he was heavily outclassed on last year's renewal of the Fighting Fifth and he will also need to reverse the form with Epatante from Boxing Day in the Christmas Hurdle

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
17/10/21KEM16Gd11-62
08/04/21AIN20GS11-76
16/03/21CHL16.5Sft11-106
26/12/20KEM16GS11-71
12/12/20CHL17Sft11-42
Newcastle - November 28 2020
Newcastle 14:05
3
Brian Hughes

Ribble Valley

J:
 
Brian Hughes
T:
 
Nicky Richards
Age: 7
Weight: 11-7
OR: 147
Days: 37

Ribble Valley has been tipped by many as the each way value in this race having bags of potential for trainer Nicky Richards and showing some of it last term.

The seven year old has only been seen seven times in his career, three times in bumpers when landing his last start at Ayr in January 2019 and four times over hurdles where he has looked a different animal.

He made his debut at Hexham last November and with any amount in hand and that was followed up with a very similar performance when winning at Wetherby by 11 lengths.

Richard stepped him up in class and took him to Ascot for the Grade Two Supreme Novices' Hurdle Trial and although beating smart horses in Time Flies By and McFabulous he could only finish a long way second behind Master Debonair.

Having not been seen since December he made his long awaited return at Carlisle in October and got back to winning ways in fine style and he deserves his chance at top level.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
28/11/20NCS16Gd11-73
22/10/20CRL17Sft11-101
20/12/19ASC15.5Hy11-02
27/11/19WET16Sft11-41
08/11/19HEX16Hy10-121
Newcastle - November 28 2020
Newcastle 14:05
1
Billy Garritty

Cornerstone Lad

J:
 
Billy Garritty
T:
 
Micky Hammond
Age: 6
Weight: 11-7
OR: 159
Days: 263

Shock winner of the Fighting Fifth last season, Cornerstone Lad will once again try and perform a miracle as his trainer Micky Hammond bids to land the race for a second successive season.

The stable star made his first appearance of the season on the flat at Redcar in October and then returned there on Tuesday when getting off the mark for the season in the one-mile-six-furlong handicap by a neck from Jackamundo.

His handler took a similar route on his way to the Grade One win last season and the six year old will be in prime form by the time the race comes around, but it would again be a massive shock to see him topple another Champion Hurdle winner.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
13/04/24NCS20Hy10-93
30/03/24CRL16Sft11-23
09/03/24AYR16.5Gd11-123
24/02/24NCS16.5Hy11-22
25/01/24WET19.5Sft10-126
Newcastle - November 28 2020
Newcastle 14:05
2
Paddy Brennan

Not So Sleepy

J:
 
Paddy Brennan
T:
 
Hughie Morrison
Age: 8
Weight: 11-7
OR: 142
Days: 263

Not So Sleepy took the division by storm last term when landing his first two races in very taking style winning at Ascot on his hurdles seasonal debut and then backing that up over the same course and distance with a wide margin win.

He was a bright horse on the flat for trainer Hughie Morrison, but has been much better over hurdles and went off favourite for the Betfair Hurdle.

The ground was far too quick for the gelding that day who finished near the back of the field and although getting his conditions in the Champion Hurdle he was disappointingly pulled up.

Since those poor runs he has been sent back over the flat and after landing a competitive event at Pontefract went to Newmarket for the Cesarewitch and was a good fourth of 34 runners.

That looks some really strong form and if jumping his hurdles better could cause a shock, but would like the track to get some rain.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
19/04/24NBY16.5GS9-84
12/03/24CHL16.5Hy11-107
09/12/23SAN16Hy11-101
14/10/23NMK18Sft9-97
23/09/23NBY13.5Hy9-121
Newcastle - November 28 2020
Newcastle 14:05
6
Conor O'Farrell

Voix Du Reve

J:
 
Conor O'Farrell
T:
 
Iain Jardine
Age: 8
Weight: 11-7
OR: 145
Days: 34

The final runner of the event is the big outsider of the field at 100/1 and the ex Willie Mullins trained horse will need a miracle to go close.

The eight year old is now with Iain Jardine and is having his second start since coming over from Ireland after making his seasonal debut at Aintree in a Handicap Hurdle.

He could only finish 12th of 14 runners and off the back of that run should not be pitched into Grade One Company.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
19/04/24AYR20.5Sft11-33
04/02/24MUS20Sft12-08
09/12/23AIN20Hy10-11PU
08/11/23MUS15.5GS11-39
26/10/23CRL17Sft11-64