Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

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The Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap is a competitive handicap hurdle held as part of the Cheltenham Festival. 

The Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle takes place on Friday 15th March 2024.

The Martin Pipe Hurdle is a handicap race confined to conditional jockeys at the Cheltenham Festival in March. It is over an extended two-and-a-half miles and is the final race of the four-day meeting. It is named after the fifteen times champion trainer who won 34 races at the Cheltenham festival.

The race has been won by some high-class horses including Sir Des Champs (2011), Don Poli (2014) and Galopin Des Champs (2021).

Find out more about the  Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap:

Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle Overview

The Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle is a competition in the UK for conditional jockeys. Horses must be four years old or older to compete.

This National Hunt hurdle is run over a distance of roughly 2 miles and 412 furlongs on the New Course at Cheltenham, and there are nine hurdles to jump during the race.

It is a handicap race that takes place every year in March during the Cheltenham Festival.

Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle Previous Winners

2009Andytown611-02Felix de GilesNicky Henderson
2010Pause and Clause611–10Johnny FarrellyEmma Lavelle
2011Sir Des Champs511-06Emmet MullinsWillie Mullins
2012Attaglance611-06Harry HaynesMalcolm Jefferson
2013Salubrious611-08Harry DerhamPaul Nicholls
2014Don Poli511-05Mikey FogartyWillie Mullins
2015Killultagh Vic611-01Luke DempseyWillie Mullins
2016Ibis du Rheu511-07Jack SherwoodPaul Nicholls
2017Champagne Classic611-03JJ SlevinGordon Elliott
2018Blow By Blow711-10Donagh MeylerGordon Elliott
2019Early Doors611-10Jonjo O'Neill JrJoseph O'Brien
2020Indefatigable711-09Rex DinglePaul Webber
2021Galopin Des Champs511-09Sean O'KeefeWillie Mullins
2022Banbridge611-03Mark McDonaghJoseph O'Brien
2023Iroko511-05Aidan KellyOliver Greenall & Josh Guerriero
2024Better Days Ahead611-07Danny GilliganGordon Elliott

Famous Martin Pipe Hurdle Winners

The Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle was first run in 2009 with victory going to Nicky Henderson’s Andytown.

The 2011 renewal was won by Sir Des Champs, trained by Willie Mullins and ridden by Emmet Mullins. He was bred to be a high-class chaser and he won all five races as a novice the following season.

This included the Golden Miller Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham which he won by a comfortable four and a half lengths. He completed his season with an even more emphatic victory at Punchestown. He won the Irish Hennessy Gold Cup and the Punchestown Gold Cup in 2013 and finished second to Bobs Worth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

The race produced another subsequent top-class chaser in 2014 when Mullins claimed the prize with Don Poli, ridden by Mikey Fogarty. He returned to the Cheltenham Festival in 2015 to win the RSA Chase by six lengths and finished third in the 2016 Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Mullins won the race for the third time with Killultagh Vic in 2015. The horse followed up in a Grade 1 novice hurdle at Punchestown where he beat Thistlecrack by half a length at level weights. He began his novice chasing career with three victories before falling at the final fence when poised to win the Irish Gold Cup.

Galopin Des Champs provided Mullins with his fourth Martin Pipe Hurdle victory in 2021, beating the well-backed Imperial Cup winner Langer Dan. His novice chasing career was eagerly anticipated and he was hugely impressive at Leopardstown in his first two starts. Sent off odds-on favourite for the 2024 Turner Novices’ Chase, he had the race at his mercy when falling at the last. He made amends at Fairyhouse next time and is one of the most exciting chasers in training.

Key Martin Pipe Hurdle Trials

Winners of the Martin Pipe Hurdle have come from a wide range of races in Britain and Ireland.

Five of the last eleven winners had raced at least once at Cheltenham, although only one of them had recorded a previous course victory.

The likes of Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott always have numerous entries for this race, often with alternative engagements in novice events or the Coral Cup.

It is best to wait until bookmakers over non-runner – no bet on all festival races before getting involved here.

Six of the last eleven winners returned to the Festival the following season.

Sir Des Champs won the 2021 JLT Novices’ Chase and Don Poli won the 2015 RSA Chase.

Five of them won on their next outing after Cheltenham and three of those were at Punchestown.

Attaglance (2012) won his next race at Aintree and Sir Des Champs (2011) followed up in a beginners chase at Fairyhouse.

Sir Des Champs (2011) is the only winning favourite in the past 12 seasons. There have also been two successful second favourites; Killultagh Vic (2015) at 7-1 and Early Doors (2019) at 5-1. Eight of the remaining winners returned at double-figure prices, notably Attaglance (2012) at 20-1 and Indefatigable (2020) at 25-1.

Inaugural winner Andytown (2009) was also a 25-1 chance.

Seven of the last twelve winners had been successful on their previous start and five had at least one victory over two and a half miles.

All twelve were officially rated 134 or higher.

The highest rated winners to date were Early Doors (2019) and Indefatigable (2020) on 145.

Horses aged five and six have the best record, winning all but two renewals in the history of the race.

Martin Pipe Hurdle – Top Trainers and Jockeys

Irish trainers have enjoyed plenty of success in this race, notably Willie Mullins who has won it four times; Sir Des Champs (2011), Don Poli (2014), Killultagh Vic (2015) and Galopin Des Champs (2021). Gordon Elliott trained the winner in successive seasons with Champagne Classic (2017) and Blow By Blow (2018).

Successful conditional jockeys in this race include Emmet Mullins, Harry Derham and Jonjo O’Neill Jnr.

Emmet Mullins is now a Grand National winning trainer following his victory with Noble Yeats in 2024.

What are the betting trends for the Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle

Betting on the Martin Pipe Hurdle

The Martin Pipe Hurdle has a very competitive ante-post market but has proved to be one of the toughest races of the Cheltenham Festival to solve.

The last eleven favourites have all been beaten so it is a race to approach with caution.

The record of Willie Mullins ensures that his entries will always attract plenty of support.


Popular Questions

What distance is the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle?

The distance of the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle is 2 miles and 4 furlongs.

What time does the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle start?

The Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle starts at 17:30.

Summary of the Martin Pipe Conditional Handicap Hurdle

The Martin Pipe Conditional Handicap Hurdle is one of the toughest races to call at the Cheltenham Festival and normally results in close finishes and the odd shock result.

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