The Cheltenham Festival may be drawing to a close, but when the time comes for the Conditional Jockeys’ Hurdle, it shows no signs of winding down!
This hurdle race is always a hard-fought one, with young jockeys and horses giving everything they’ve got to prove themselves on the grand Cheltenham stage.
The Conditional Jockeys’ Hurdle is a National Hunt handicap hurdle race for conditional jockeys (jockeys with fewer than 75 wins) and horses aged four or older. It attracts a large field – the number of participants is typically in the mid-20s.
The Conditional Jockeys’ Hurdle is run on Cheltenham’s New Course over 2 miles, 4½ furlongs (4,124 metres), with nine hurdles to jump.
The purse is £60,000, with £31,280 on offer for the winner.
A recent addition to the Cheltenham Festival, the Conditional Jockeys’ Hurdle (unsponsored) was first run in 2009. Its full name pays tribute to eminent racehorse trainer Martin Pipe, who boasts 34 Cheltenham Festival victories and 15 Champion Trainer titles up to his retirement in 2006.
The inaugural race winner was six-year-old Andytown, ridden by Felix de Giles and trained by Nicky Henderson.
So far, no horse or jockey has been able to rack up more than one victory here.
However, renowned trainer Willie Mullins already has three wins under his belt in the short time the race has been going. He was successful here in 2011 (Sir Des Champs), 2014 (Don Poli) and 2015 (Killultagh Vic).
Race trends and statistics
- All races have been won by five and six-year-olds
- The winners of all races had also won handicap hurdle races earlier in the same season
- All the winners were improving novices the year before their victory here
- No horse under 11st has won the race yet
This is a challenging and fast-paced contest and it’s one of the most competitive races of the Cheltenham Festival. Potential racing stars give their all to shine at this prominent occasion.
It would also be savvy to keep an eye on horses that have won races on similar courses, since the nature of this course has specific features (fast-paced; big field handicap).
It’d also be wise to watch horses entered by David Pipe (son of Martin Pipe), who has a particular interest in this race.
Cheltenham is the arena in which stars are born, and the Conditional Jockeys’ Hurdle is one of the races that can help young horses and riders really shine. With the elusive double win still up for grabs, this race is bound to keep your pulse racing.