2016 Newcastle Fighting Fifth Hurdle Ante-Post Betting Preview
The G1 Fighting Fifth Hurdle takes place at Newcastle Racecourse, on Saturday 26th November. Identity Thief won this race, in 2015. Which horses dominate our live ante-post market?
The Doctor Dino-sired 4-year-old followed up his victory at Cheltenham with a 9-length defeat of Rayvin Black, in the G2 Elite Hurdle at Wincanton. The form for that race would be a lot stronger if Paul Nicholls’ Zubayr had not fallen at the last, although Sceau Royale was leading and travelling the better of the pair. Big chance.
Gordon Elliott’s filly was one of last season’s bright young things, winning G1 races at both Aintree and Punchestown. Defeat by Rashaan, in a G2 encounter at Down Royal earlier this month, was a shock but she may have just needed the run out. She looks certain to be one of the stars of the future and victory would be no surprise.
The 8-year-old is another former winner (2014), but suspicions are that we may have already seen the best of this one. A blunder cost him any chance of retaining his crown here in 2015 and since then he’s raced just once – finishing last of 4, in G2 company at Wincanton. Irving has supporters in the market, but will have to find plenty to win this renewal of the Fighting Fifth.
Others With Chances
Ante-post bets have also been placed on Petit Mouchoir. Each-way money has been pinned on Hidden Cyclone & Mirsaale.
Great Fighting Fifth Hurdle Champions Of The Past
This race is for 4-year-olds and up. It is a two-mile fixture involving 9 hurdles. There have been many top-class winners of the Fighting Fifth Hurdle and these include the 2009 champion Go Native – a horse ridden by Davy Condon and trained by Noel Meade. Go Native won this fixture as a 6-year-old.
The Double Eclipse-sired Irish brown gelding also won the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham as well as the Christmas Hurdle in 2009 and was tipped by many to win the Triple Crown of Hurdling. To do this, he needed to land the spoils in the 2009 Cheltenham Champion Hurdle. He began the race as a 4/1 favourite but faltered badly at the 2nd and never got back into contention.
In 2008, the race was won by a horse called Punjabi. The British bay gelding was sired by Komaite and out of a dam named Competa. Bred by Captain JH Wilson and trained by Nicky Henderson, he also won the Punchestown Champion Four Year Old Hurdle (2007), the Punchestown Champion Hurdle (2008) and the Champion Hurdle (2009). All four of Punjabi’s victories came in G1 fixtures.
Barton took the spoils in 2001. Stanley Clarke was the owner of this British chestnut gelding. Sired by Port Etienne (Mill Reef), he was out of a dam called Peanuts and trained by Charlie Brooks/Tim Easterby.
Barton was hugely-successful and also won the Classic Novices’ Hurdle (1998), the Winter Novices’ Hurdle (1998), the River Don Novices’ Hurdle (1999), the Royal & SunAlliance Novices’ Hurdle (1999), the Mersey Novices’ Hurdle (1999), the Aintree Hurdle (2001), the Dipper Novices’ Chase (2002) and the Mildmay Novices’ Chase (2002).
The only runner to have won the Fighting Fifth Hurdle on three consecutive occasions was the magnificent Comedy Of Errors. Bill Smith steered him home in 1972 and 1973, while the honour was given to Ken White in 1974.
Comedy Of Errors was bred by Elizabeth Sykes, trained by Fred Rimmell and owned by Ted Wheatley. Foaled in 1967, he was given a Timeform rating of 178. His other major wins included the Cheltenham Trial (1973, 1974), the Irish Sweeps Hurdle (1973, 1974), the Champion Hurdle (1973, 1975), the Welsh Champion Hurdle (1973), the Scottish Champion Hurdle (1975) and the Templegate Hurdle (1976).