Fighting Fifth Hurdle Guide 2021

Newcastle - November 27 2021
Newcastle 15:15
6
Aidan Coleman

Epatante

J:
 
Aidan Coleman
T:
 
Nicky Henderson
Age: 7
Weight: 11-0
OR: 154
Days: 211

Last season's winner and 2020 Champion Hurdle heroine looks set to make her seasonal debut as she looks to revive her career after impressing in this race last year, to then disappoint at Kempton over Christmas and lose her Champion Hurdle crown to the brilliant Honeysuckle.

She was electric in this race last year, after jumping very well to then fly away to win by just over 4 lengths, looking like a back-to-back Champion Hurdle win on the cards, but she did slightly disappoint from then.

Beaten at Kempton at short odds which was put down to a slight back injury by Nicky Henderson, then finished 3rd in the Champion Hurdle at the festival in March and then 3rd again in the Irish Champion Hurdle behind her new rival Honeysuckle.

Should she reproduce the level of form she showed in the race last year, she will be very hard to beat, providing the issues with her back have been resolved as she would need her electric jumping that she is well known for to come back.

A 7lb mares’ allowance is huge once again, with her multiple Grade 1’s to name, she as well certainly has the class to take this race back to Seven Barrows for a seventh time.

Multiple graded winner, Champion Hurdle 2020 winner and she won this race in fine style last season, she is certainly the one to beat with the added bonus of the 7lb mares allowance.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
26/12/21KEM16Sft11-01
27/11/21NCS16GS11-01
30/04/21PUN16Y11-73
16/03/21CHL16.5Sft11-33
26/12/20KEM16GS11-02
Newcastle - November 27 2021
Newcastle 15:15
1
Sean Bowen

Monmiral

J:
 
Sean Bowen
T:
 
Paul Nicholls
Age: 4
Weight: 11-7
OR: 153
Days: 233

Another typical exciting Paul Nicholls horse who has a huge reputation going into the new NH season this time around is Monmiral.

The unbeaten son of Saint Des Saints was electric last season winning all four of his starts over hurdles including a Grade 2 at Doncaster and the Grade 1 Novices' Hurdle at Aintree, winning in fine style by just over Seven lengths, he looked a real prospect going into this season.

He certainly looks to have bags of potential and is already a Grade 1 winner with surely more to come.

He has less experience than Epatante and has to give her 7lb’s which could not favour him, but we all know how good Paul Nicholls is with getting these horses ready and with normal progression over the summer he could improve past these.

Monmiral is certainly a very interesting runner in this. Unbeaten in all five starts, four of which are over Hurdles including a Grade 1 at Aintree at the back end of last season.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/11/21NCS16GS11-75
08/04/21AIN17GS11-01
20/02/21HAY15.5Sft11-61
12/12/20DON16.5GS11-31
22/11/20EXE17Sft11-41
Newcastle - November 27 2021
Newcastle 15:15
3
Daryl Jacob

Sceau Royal

J:
 
Daryl Jacob
T:
 
Alan King
Age: 9
Weight: 11-7
OR: 158
Days: 21

Already twice a winner this season for the brilliant Alan King, the very versatile Sceau Royal has contested and won in Listed and Grade 2 races over Hurdles this season including a fantastic display in the Elite Hurdle last time out, winning by just over 5 lengths looking like he is back to his very best over the smaller hurdles.

He is a brilliantly versatile horse winning various good races over hurdles and fences and is the highest rated in the race so that counts for something.

He again must give the 7lb mares allowance to Epatante like the rest of the field, and with the calibre of horse he has beaten this season he may struggle to win a top looking Grade 1 like this, but he as game as they come and has the fitness edge on his side, he could run a big race in this.

Already a twice winner this season including a Listed and Grade 2 contest, looks better than ever on Hurdles at the moment with the fitness edge. But there are question marks on what he has beat this season and has the 7lb’s to give to the favourite.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
11/12/21CHL17GS11-66
27/11/21NCS16GS11-73
06/11/21WCN15Gd11-61
17/10/21KEM16Gd11-61
24/04/21SAN15.5Gd11-73
Newcastle - November 27 2021
Newcastle 15:15
4
Adam Wedge

Silver Streak

J:
 
Adam Wedge
T:
 
Evan Williams
Age: 8
Weight: 11-7
OR: 158
Days: 41

The likeable grey for Evan Williams, who was unfortunately carried out in this contest last year at the 2nd hurdle by the monkey that is Not So Sleepy when he was running loose.

He beat Epatante at Kempton in the Christmas Hurdle last season, but there were excuses for Epatante that day (Back issues reported by trainer).

He was well fancied when beaten in the Listed Hurdle at Kempton lats time out (Beaten 3 lengths by Sceau Royal) and did put in a slightly disappointing performance but looked as if he would come on wonders for the run.

He is a horse that has always been well regarded by connections and this could be his big aim for the season on a flatter track that clearly suits.

He could run a big race and please fans who follow this lovely grey all over the racecourses. Carried out by loose horse in this race last season, disappointed in a Listed contest for first run of the season last time.

Each Way claims at best.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
17/10/21KEM16Gd11-62
08/04/21AIN20GS11-76
16/03/21CHL16.5Sft11-106
26/12/20KEM16GS11-71
12/12/20CHL17Sft11-42
Newcastle - November 27 2021
Newcastle 15:15
2
Jonathan Burke

Not So Sleepy

J:
 
Jonathan Burke
T:
 
Hughie Morrison
Age: 9
Weight: 11-7
OR: 152
Days: 233

The Hughie Morrison monkey who caused chaos last season in this, unseating his rider at the first and carrying out Silver Streak at the second flight, He was a winner at Ascot last season in a Grade 3 (Where he seems to hold some of his best form) but has struggled when in top graded races since.

He would have to improve a fair bunch on his form to win this against graded winners and a very promising unexposed rival.

Needs to improve a lot looking at his previous form to beat these top horses in a top graded race. Probably best watched.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
26/12/21KEM16Sft11-75
27/11/21NCS16GS11-71
22/10/21DON14.5Sft10-02
07/05/21CHS18.5GS9-67
08/04/21AIN20GS11-77
Newcastle - November 27 2021
Newcastle 15:15
5
Conor O'Farrell

Voix Du Reve

J:
 
Conor O'Farrell
T:
 
Iain Jardine
Age: 9
Weight: 11-7
OR: 140
Days: 35

A horse that has not won since running in Ireland for Willie Mullins in 2019, which was a Grade 1 Novices Chase with some previous particularly good form for the previous yard, but he has slightly lost his way of late since changing to Iain Jardine’s yard.

He has not exactly shown he still has that ability and would need to step up wonders to win this and is quite a bit lower rated than the others in this.

Hasn’t won in over 2 years, very much best watched in this Grade 1.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/11/21NCS16GS11-76
23/10/21CHL16Gd11-27
29/04/21PUN16Y11-30
16/04/21AYR20.5Gd11-123
06/03/21KEL16GS11-40

James Mackie

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