Fighting Fifth Hurdle
|Fighting Fifth Hurdle|
|Grade 1 race|
|Race type||Hurdle race|
|Distance||2 miles (3,219 metres)|
|Qualification||Four-years-old and up|
|Weight||11 st 7 lb
7 lb for fillies and mares
The Fighting Fifth Hurdle is a Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race in Great Britain which is open to horses aged four years or older. It is run at Newcastle over a distance of about 2 miles (3,219 metres), and during its running there are nine hurdles to be jumped. The race is scheduled to take place each year in late November or early December and is managed by Northern Racing Ltd.
The event was established in 1969, and the inaugural running was won by Mugatpura. Its title refers to the "Fighting Fifth", the nickname of the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers. In the year prior to the race's launch, the regiment (formerly known as the 5th Regiment of Foot) was amalgamated with three others to form the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.
There were two triple winners of the Fighting Fifth Hurdle during the 1970s: Comedy of Errors and Bird's Nest. The latter also finished first in 1980 but after a stewards' inquiry he was relegated to second place behind Sea Pigeon.
The Fighting Fifth Hurdle was formerly classed at Grade 2 level, and for a brief spell in the 1990s it was run as a limited handicap. Its past sponsors have included Bellway Homes, Newcastle Building Society and Pertemps. It was promoted to Grade 1 status in 2004, and it is now the first top-grade hurdle race of the British National Hunt season.
The online sportbook StanJames.com took over the sponsorship of the Fighting Fifth in 2010. The Fighting Fifth is the first leg in the Road to Cheltenham, a Stan James sponsored series of races which includes the International Hurdle at Cheltenham and the Champion Hurdle Trial at Haydock, and culminates in the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
Most successful horse (3 wins):
Leading jockey (2 wins):
- Bill Smith – Comedy of Errors (1972, 1973)
- Andrew Turnell – Bird's Nest (1977, 1979)
- Richard Guest – Beech Road (1990), Padre Mio (1995)
- Lorcan Wyer – Dato Star (1998, 1999)
- Tony Dobbin – Barton (2000), Arcalis (2005)
- Paul Carberry – Harchibald (2004, 2007)
Leading trainer (4 wins):
- Fred Rimell – Inishmaan (1970), Comedy of Errors (1972, 1973, 1974)
1 Bird's Nest finished first in 1980, but he was relegated to second place after a stewards' inquiry.
2 The 1993 running was abandoned because of snow.
3 The 2008 edition was held at Wetherby over 2 miles and 110 yards.
4 The 2010 edition was held at Newbury over 2 miles and 110 yards.
- Northern Racing Venues, northernracing.co.uk, accessed 27 March 2010.
- Racing Post:
- pedigreequery.com – Fighting Fifth Hurdle – Newcastle.
- Ladbrokes Pocket Companion 1990/91. Aesculus Press. 1990. p. 43. ISBN 1-871093-21-X.