Fighting Fifth Hurdle

The Fighting Fifth Hurdle is a Grade 1 race at Newcastle over an extended two miles in late November or early December.

The race regularly features leading contenders for the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.

Notable past winners include Comedy Of Errors (1972, 1973, 1974), Sea Pigeon (1978, 1980), Buveur D’Air (2017, 2018) and Epatante (2020, 2021).

Find out more about the Fighting Fifth Hurdle:

Fighting Fifth Hurdle

Overview – Fighting Fifth Hurdle

Horses must be four years old or older to compete in the Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race known as the Fighting Fifth Hurdle in Great Britain.

Nine hurdles must be cleared during the race, which is held at Newcastle over a distance of around 2 miles and a half furlong (2 miles and 46 yards, or 3,261 metres).

The contest is the opening race in the Triple Crown of Hurdling.

Fighting Fifth Hurdle 2022 Odds

The Fighting Fifth Hurdle odds are listed below:

The odds for this race have not yet been released.

Fighting Fifth Hurdle 2022 Tips

The Fighting Fifth Hurdle tips are below:

2 points to win for TBC at odds of TBC
1 point each way for TBC at odds of TBC

Many Fighting Fifth Hurdle horses (Fighing 5th) will race in more races throughout the years. Stay updated on the horses and place ante-post bets if you want to wager on them.

Fighting Fifth Hurdle Previous Winners

Year Winner Age Jockey Trainer
2013 My Tent Or Yours 6 Tony McCoy Nicky Henderson
2014 Irving 6 Nick Scholfield Paul Nicholls
2015 Identity Thief 5 Bryan Cooper Henry De Bromhead
2016 Irving 8 Harry Cobden Paul Nicholls
2017 Buveur d’Air 6 Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson
2018 Buveur d’Air 7 Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson
2019 Cornerstone Lad 5 Henry Brooke Micky Hammond
2020 Epatante 6 Aidan Coleman Nicky Henderson
2021 Epatante 7 Aidan Coleman Nicky Henderson
(dh) Not So Sleepy 9 Jonathan Burke Hughie Morrison
2022 Constitution Hill 5 Nico de Boinville Nicky Henderson

Fighting Fifth Hurdle 2022 Result

Famous Fighting Fifth Hurdle Winners

The Fighting Fifth Hurdle was first run in 1969 and is named after the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers. The race quickly became established as a significant trial for the Champion Hurdle.

Comedy Of Errors won the race for three successive seasons from 1972 to 1974, twice going on to win at Cheltenham in 1973 and 1975.

Night Nurse won this race in 1975 and also won the Champion Hurdle in 1976 and 1977 – he is regarded as one of the best Champion Hurdle winners.

The record of Comedy Of Errors in this race was matched by Birds Nest who won in 1976, 1977 and 1979. He was denied a record fourth victory in 1980 when disqualified in favour of Sea Pigeon.

Peter Easterby trained Sea Pigeon to win the Champion Hurdle at the fourth attempt in 1980. He followed up his Fighting Fifth Hurdle victory by winning a second Champion Hurdle at the age of eleven in 1981. In doing so he equalled the age record in the Champion set by Hatton’s Grace in 1950.

Other Champion Hurdlers to win the Fighting Fifth include Gaye Brief (1983), Kribensis (1989) and Beech Road (1990). Dual winners Floyd (1987, 1988) Dato Star (1998, 1999) and Harchibald (2004, 2007) were other popular winners.

Nicky Henderson often starts his main Champion Hurdle hope off in this race. He won it in successive seasons with Buveur D’Air (2017 and 2018) and Epatante (2020 and 2021). The latter dead-heated on the second occasion with Not So Sleepy.

Key Fighting Fifth Hurdle Trials

Around half of recent winners had raced previously during the current campaign.

This race is often used as the first race of the season for horses that ran in the Champion Hurdle the previous season. The outcome can have a big impact on the ante-post betting for Cheltenham.

The next target for Fighting Fifth Hurdle winners is often the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton Park. Eight of the last thirteen winners ran in that race. Go Native (2009), My Tent Or Yours (2013), Buveur D’Air (2017) and Epatante (2021) all won both races in the same season.

Fighting Fifth Hurdle Betting Trends

Horses aged five and six have the best recent record in this race, winning six of the last nine renewals between them. It is worth noting that four-year-olds have a poor record in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle. Countrywide Flame (2012) was the most recent to oblige and the first from that age group since Out Of The Gloom (1985).

There have been five winning favourites and four-second favourites in the past twelve seasons.

Nicky Henderson’s runners usually attract plenty of support. Buveur D’Air was a long odds-on favourite in 2017 and a well-backed second favourite when following up in 2018. Henderson’s Punjabi (2008), My Tent Or Yours (2013) and Epatante all started strong favourites.

There have been occasional upsets in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle. The French Furze (2003) and Go Native (2009) both won at 25-1 and Cornerstone Lad won as a 16-1 chance in 2019.

Not So Sleepy was an 18-1 chance when dead-heating with favourite Epatante in 2021.

Almost all recent winners had already won a Grade 1 or Grade 2 race.

An official rating of 152 or higher is usually required to win this race.

Buveur D’Air was the highest-rated recent winner on 169 while Cornerstone Lad was officially rated 148.

Fighting Fifth Hurdle – Top Trainers and Jockeys

Nicky Henderson has won the Fighting Fifth Hurdle on a record seven occasions. He first won the race with Landing Light in 2001 with Punjabi adding a second success seven years’ later. My Tent Or Yours won it in 2013 with Buveur D’Air claiming successive victories in 2017 and 2018. He then saddled Epatante to record back-to-back victories in 2020 and 2021.

Space Trucker, trained by Jessica Harrington, was the first Irish-trained winner of the race in 1996.

Noel Meade won it twice with Harchibald in 2004 and 2007 and again with Go Native (2009).

The last Irish-trained winner was Henry De Bromhead’s Identity Thief in 2015.

Barry Geraghty leads the all-time jockey standings in the Fighting Fifth with three winners; Landing Punjabi (2008) and Buveur D’Air (2017, 2018). Aidan Coleman moved to within one of that tally with back-to-back victories aboard Epatante (2020, 2021).

Betting on the Fighting Fifth Hurdle

The Fighting Fifth Hurdle is one of the first big Cheltenham Festival trials of the season. Although it rarely attracts a large field there are always a couple of Champion Hurdle contenders on show.

Popular Questions

When is the Fighting Fifth Hurdle?

The Fighting Fifth Hurdle is held on Saturday 26th November at 2:05 pm.

The 14:05 race is held at Newcastle Racecourse.

What are important facts about Fighting Fifth Hurdle?

Here are some important facts about Fighting Fifth Hurdle:

  • The Fighting Fifth Hurdle is run at Newcastle Racecourse, Great Britain
  • The Fighting Fifth Hurdle is for horses aged 4 and over
  • The Fighting Fifth Hurdle is a National Hunt Hurdle race in Great Britain
  • The Fighting Fifth Hurdle distance is 2 miles and half a furlong

Summary of the Fighting Fifth Hurdle

Thank you for reading our Fighting Fifth Hurdle guide.

The Fighting Fifth is one of the first major hurdling honours of the season, with many winners going on to claim the Champion title later in the season.


As the Founder of British Racecourses, I have a life-long passion for horse racing and have loved the sport as long as I can remember. I am also a keen racehorse owner and have worked in the gambling industry for several years. I set up British Racecourses with the desire to share my passion for racing with other like-minded people.