Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ H’cap Hurdle: 2m 4f, Friday, March 18, 4:50pm
Key Stat: Willie Mullins has won this three times in eight years
Now in its eighth year and the fifth since it was upgraded to a 0-145 handicap, Willie Mullins has already won it with Sir Des Champs, Don Poli and Killultagh Vic, all of which went on to win Grade 1 races.
Trainer David Pipe will be particularly keen to notch up a first success named in tribute to his father who won 34 races at the Festival but so far, only one of his 16 runners has hit the frame.
Gordon Elliott who has yet to win it but two of his runners-up seemed to throw it away in the closing stages, so Jetstream Jack could be an interesting contender from his stable.
The first six winners were novice hurdling the previous season and last season’s winner was a novice (Killultagh Vic).
This is basically a limited handicap and, generally there’s an argument for keeping it simple and identifying the best horse in the race, more than attempting to find a handicap plot. To back this up, horses towards the top of the handicap have fared well.