The Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle is the final race of the Festival and is restricted to apprentice (conditional) jockeys.
It attracts a big field of closely rated runners - usually a compressed handicap with ratings from about 135 to 145.
The race is named after Martin Pipe who trained 34 Cheltenham Festival winners, as well as being champion trainer 15 times.
Sir Des Champs and Don Poli both won this handicap hurdle en route to future Festival success over fences.
Sir Des Champs returned to win the Jewson (now Turners) Novices' Chase, and Don Poli the RSA (now Brown Advisory) Chase.
Both were subsequently placed in the Gold Cup, while Galopin Des Champs would also have followed up in the Turners Chase but for his unfortunate slip after the last in 2022.
All three were trained by Willie Mullins.
MARTIN PIPE HURDLE TRENDS
Stamina is a key ingredient in this race, with a fierce end-to-end gallop assured.
The ceiling for ratings was raised to 145 in 2012 and the race has tended to go to a horse towards the top of the handicap of late.
No horse older than seven has won the race, with lightly raced hurdlers (often novices) coming to the fore.
Gigginstown Stud have had four Martin Pipe Hurdle winners: Sir Des Champs, Don Poli, Champagne Classic and Blow By Blow.
Significantly, in each of those four renewals they had just one representative.
Sir Des Champs (2011) is the only successful favourite so far and 10 of the 14 winners have been sent off at double-figure odds.
Despite being desperate to win the race for obvious reasons, David Pipe’s record currently stands at 0-23.
LAST 5 WINNERS’ DATA
Banbridge recorded a third Festival success for trainer Joseph O’Brien in 2022 - and his second Martin Pipe Hurdle winner.
It was jockey Mark McDonagh's first ever ride in Britain:
The 2021 Martin Pipe Hurdle winner was Galopin Des Champs - a sixth winner of the week for Willie Mullins:
Indefatigable snatched a last gasp victory in 2020, despite having to contend with traffic problems.
The mare was the joint biggest-priced winner of the race to date at 25/1:
Jonjo O'Neill Jr delivered the Joseph O'Brien-trained Early Doors to perfection in 2019:
Blow By Blow defied top weight with an accomplished front-running ride by Donagh Meyler, to give Gordon Elliott his second successive win in the race in 2018:
Champagne Classic 2017
Ibis Du Rheu 2016
Killultagh Vic 2015
Don Poli 2014
Pause And Clause 2010