Fighting Fifth Hurdle

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The Fighting Fifth Hurdle is a Grade 1 race at Newcastle over an extended two miles.

The Fighting Fifth Hurdle takes place on Saturday 2nd December 2024.

The long odds on shot Constitution Hill looks a banker for Nico De Boinville and Nicky Henderson to secure the BetMGM Fighting Fifth Hurdle win against leading fancies Love Envoi and Not So Sleepy.

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

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.

Who is the most winning trainer of the Fighting Fifth?

The most successful trainer in the BetMGM Fighting Fifth Hurdle is Nicky Henderson, with eight wins.

Here are the most winning trainers of the BetMGM Fighting Fifth.

Nicky Henderson15-8-12
Noel Meade3-3-3
Paul Nicholls9-2-3
Donald McCain3-2-2
Nicky Richards8-1-3
John Quinn5-1-3
Hughie Morrison3-1-1
Micky Hammond2-1-1
Henry De Bromhead2-1-1
Nick Gifford1-1-1

Previous Fighting Fifth Hurdle Winners

Here are the previous winners of the BetMGM Fighting Fifth Hurdle.

2010Peddlers Cross [d]Jason MaguireDonald McCain Jr.
2011OverturnJason MaguireDonald McCain Jr.
2012Countrywide FlameDenis O’ReganJohn Quinn
2013My Tent Or YoursTony McCoyNicky Henderson
2014IrvingNick ScholfieldPaul Nicholls
2015Identity ThiefBryan CooperHenry De Bromhead
2016IrvingHarry CobdenPaul Nicholls
2017Buveur d’AirBarry GeraghtyNicky Henderson
2018Buveur d’AirBarry GeraghtyNicky Henderson
2019Cornerstone LadHenry BrookeMicky Hammond
2020EpatanteAidan ColemanNicky Henderson
2021Epatante + Not So SleepyAidan Coleman
Jonathan Burke
Nicky Henderson
Hughie Morrison
2022Constitution HillNico de BoinvilleNicky Henderson

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.

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).

Popular Questions

When is the Fighting Fifth Hurdle?

The Fighting Fifth Hurdle is held on Saturday 2nd December at 1:55 pm.

The 13:55 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.

You can check out the Newcastle horse racing tips page for our tips on this race or take a look at more horse racing in December.