Fighting Fifth Hurdle

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Fighting Fifth Hurdle
Grade 1 race
Location Newcastle Racecourse
Newcastle, England
Inaugurated 1969
Race type Hurdle race
Website Newcastle
Race information
Distance 2 miles (3,219 metres)
Surface Turf
Track Left-handed
Qualification Four-years-old and up
Weight 11 st 7 lb
7 lb for fillies and mares
Purse £105,000 (2015)
1st: £63,585
Fighting Fifth Hurdle
Maroon, white star, armlets and star on cap Emerald green, dark green sleeves, dark green and emerald green quartered cap Purple, orange seams, purple cap, orange star
Identity Thief Top Notch Wicklow Brave

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 the first leg of the Triple Crown of Hurdling scheduled to take place each year in late November or early December and is managed by Northern Racing Ltd.[1]


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 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):

Leading trainer (4 wins):

  • Fred RimellInishmaan (1970), Comedy of Errors (1972, 1973, 1974)


1969 Mugatpura 6 Willie Robinson Fulke Walwyn
1970 Inishmaan 4 Terry Biddlecombe Fred Rimell
1971 Dondieu 6 Brian Fletcher Denys Smith
1972 Comedy of Errors 5 Bill Smith Fred Rimell
1973 Comedy of Errors 6 Bill Smith Fred Rimell
1974 Comedy of Errors 7 Ken White Fred Rimell
1975 Night Nurse 4 Paddy Broderick Peter Easterby
1976 Birds Nest 6 Steve Knight Bob Turnell
1977 Birds Nest 7 Andrew Turnell Bob Turnell
1978 Sea Pigeon 8 Ian Watkinson Peter Easterby
1979 Birds Nest 9 Andrew Turnell Bob Turnell
1980 Sea Pigeon [1] 10 Alan Brown Peter Easterby
1981 Ekbalco 5 David Goulding Roger Fisher
1982 Donegal Prince 6 Phil Tuck Paul Kelleway
1983 Gaye Brief 6 Sam Morshead Mercy Rimell
1984 Browne's Gazette 6 Dermot Browne Monica Dickinson
1985 Out of the Gloom 4 Jonjo O'Neill Reg Hollinshead
1986 Tom Sharp 6 S. J. O'Neill Walter Wharton
1987 Floyd 7 Colin Brown David Elsworth
1988 Floyd 8 Simon Sherwood David Elsworth
1989 Kribensis 5 Mark Dwyer Michael Stoute
1990 Beech Road 8 Richard Guest Toby Balding
1991 Royal Derbi 6 Chris Grant Neville Callaghan
1992 Halkopous 6 Steve Smith Eccles Mark Tompkins
1993 no race 1993 [2]
1994 Batabanoo 5 Peter Niven Mary Reveley
1995 Padre Mio 7 Richard Guest Charlie Brooks
1996 Space Trucker 5 John Shortt Jessica Harrington
1997 Star Rage 7 Dean Gallagher Mark Johnston
1998 Dato Star 7 Lorcan Wyer Malcolm Jefferson
1999 Dato Star 8 Lorcan Wyer Malcolm Jefferson
2000 Barton 7 Tony Dobbin Tim Easterby
2001 Landing Light 6 John Kavanagh Nicky Henderson
2002 Intersky Falcon 5 Liam Cooper Jonjo O'Neill
2003 The French Furze 9 Brian Harding Nicky Richards
2004 Harchibald 5 Paul Carberry Noel Meade
2005 Arcalis 5 Tony Dobbin Howard Johnson
2006 Straw Bear 5 Tony McCoy Nick Gifford
2007 Harchibald 8 Paul Carberry Noel Meade
2008 Punjabi [3] 5 Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson
2009 Go Native 6 Davy Condon Noel Meade
2010 Peddlers Cross [4] 5 Jason Maguire Donald McCain, Jr.
2011 Overturn 7 Jason Maguire Donald McCain, Jr.
2012 Countrywide Flame 4 Denis O'Regan John Quinn
2013 My Tent Or Yours 6 Tony McCoy Nicky Henderson
2014 Irving 6 Nick Scholfield Paul Nicholls
2015 Identity Thief 5 Bryan Cooper Henry De Bromhead

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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Northern Racing Venues,, accessed 27 March 2010.