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Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle 2024 Trends For The Cheltenham Festival

Jessica Lamb for Bookies.com

Jessica Lamb  | 11 mins

Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle 2024 Trends For The Cheltenham Festival

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Trends are often the best way to narrow down the field in Cheltenham's tricky handicaps, so we've looked at the most important trends for the Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle over the last 10 years for you, and used them to find the best horses to follow right now for the 2024 running of the race.

2024 Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle Trends

The last 10 winners:

  • Carried at least 11st 1lb to victory
  • Had an average handicap rating of 141, with four of the last five winners rated higher
  • Had won 1-3 times over hurdles
  • Had not won more than two handicap hurdles
  • Last ran between 20-77 days ago
  • Had finished first or second in at least one of their last three runs
  • Were aged no older than 7 and generally 5 or 6

Nine of the last 10 winners:

  • Had not run more than eight times over hurdles (exception Indefatigable had run 11 times)
  • Had won or been placed in a hurdle race run over 2m4f or further (Gallopin Des Champs had not run over further than 2m2f)
  • Carried at least 11st 3lbs to victory (Killultagh Vic carried 11st 1lb)

The last eight winners:

  • Had run in less than four handicap hurdles
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Key Trials in the last 10 years

Winners of this Cheltenham handicap hurdle come from all sorts of places, but the recent trend has been for the race to go to a decent novice, just short of Grade 1 class.

It therefore pays to keep an eye on Grade 3 and Grade 2 novices' hurdles, as well as paying attention to five and six-year-olds running in handicaps run over 2m3f or further.

Trainer Trends

  • In the 15-year history of this contest, it’s an 50-50 split between trainers based in Ireland and Britain, although five of the last seven have gone to Ireland.
  • Willie Mullins has won the race four times, more than any other trainer, with Gordon Elliott (who worked for Martin Pipe earlier in his career), Paul Nicholls and Joseph O'Brien having all won it twice.
  • Nicky Henderson has thrown a lot of darts at this race without success since winning the first running of the contest in 2009.

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Jockey Trends

Because the race is for conditional riders, it is unlikely that any pilot will win it more than once. The last 10 winners were ridden by jockeys that had never previously ridden a Cheltenham Festival winner.

How did the trends do last year?

Iroko, who had won two hurdle races, including over 2m3.5f, was an obvious bet. He had been tested in Grade 1 and Grade 2 company, finishing fourth both times, and had won both handicap hurdles he contested.

He was lightly-raced and relatively unexposed, while still being a novice.

Second No Ordinary Joe was perhaps a stronger trends pick, coming from the Nicky Henderson stable. He'd also won over further than Iroko had and placed third in a valuable 2m handicap hurdle at Cheltenham. 

Third Buddy One was ruled out for the win on trends because he was still a maiden, while fourth Might I was a very strong trends pick, but burdened by a hefty topweight of 11st 12lb.


Who Fits The Trends Best In 2024?

Like all Cheltenham Festival handicaps, this is tricky to predict before the entry stage, but currently there are a couple of eyecatchers that fit the trends.

The most obvious of these are the Willie Mullins-trained duo Quai De Bourbon and Sa Majeste, both novice hurdlers with four outings and two wins, including last time out and over 2m3f plus. They each have an attractive handicap rating of 140 and look set to carry more than 11st 1lb in the race.

At bigger prices the Gordon Elliott-trained duo Better Days Ahead and Yeats Star fit the trends well, with the latter also boasting handicap experience as he's run three times in that company, winning once.

Given good ground, Encanto Bruno has huge appeal as a two-time course winner, including over 2m4f, while if it were heavy, Built By Ballymore could be the best bet on trends, as a two-time winner over 2m4f in heavy-ground hurdle races this season.

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2023 Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle Result

Position Name Price Trainer Jockey
1st Iroko 6/1 Oliver Greenall and Josh Guerriero Aidan Kelly
2nd No Ordinary Joe 14/1 Nicky Henderson Luca Morgan
3rd Buddy One 28/1 Paul Gilligan Jack Gilligan
4th Might I 6/1 Harry Fry Lorcan Murtagh

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About the Author

Jessica Lamb is a multi-media journalist who specializes in horse racing, cycling and sports betting and has worked on desks at the Racing Post and Irish Sun newspapers.