Has David Pipe ever won the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle?
The short answer is no, he hasn’t. Run over 2 miles 4½ furlongs on the New Course at Prestbury Park, the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle was added to the Cheltenham Festival programme in 2009. The race commemorates the achievements of the eponymous Martin Pipe, who won the National Hunt Trainers’ Championship fifteen times, including ten years running between 1996 and 2005.
All told, Pipe Snr. saddled 34 winners at the Cheltenham Festival, notably winning the Champion Hurdle twice, with Granville Again in 1993 and Make A Stand in 1997. His son, David, who took over the training licence at Pond Hill Stables in Nicholashayne, Somerset in 2006, has since saddled a further 15 winners at the March showpiece. However, the race named in honour of his father has so far proved elusive, although it has not been for the want of trying.
In fact, in the 13 runnings of the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle since its inauguration on 2009, David Pipe has saddled a total of 23 runners without success. In the 2021 renewal, for example, Pipe saddled three of the 22 runners, but could finish no better than sixth, beaten 16¼ lengths, with Leoncavallo, ridden by Fergus Gillard. His other two runners, First Lord De Cuet and Martinhal, finished miles behind, in fourteenth and seventeenth place, respectively.