Fighting Fifth Hurdle
|Grade 1 race|
|Fighting Fifth Hurdle|
|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 betting exchange WBX took over the sponsorship in 2006, and since then the race has served as the first leg of the Triple Crown of Hurdling. This offers a prize of £1,000,000 to any horse which wins the Fighting Fifth Hurdle, the Christmas Hurdle and the Champion Hurdle in the same season.  Jim Allen, Head of Racing Development for Northern Racing, was quoted as saying that the race has become one of the best Jump races in the North of England since WBX began sponsoring the race. Newcastle Clerk James Armstrong followed by noting that since the establishment of the Triple Crown of Hurdling bonus, the field sizes have grown and the quality of runners has increased dramatically.
Most successful horse (3 wins):
- Comedy of Errors – 1972, 1973, 1974
- Bird's Nest – 1976, 1977, 1979
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)
|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||Bird's Nest||6||Steve Knight||Bob Turnell|
|1977||Bird's Nest||7||Andrew Turnell||Bob Turnell|
|1978||Sea Pigeon||8||Ian Watkinson||Peter Easterby|
|1979||Bird's Nest||9||Andrew Turnell||Bob Turnell|
|1980||Sea Pigeon ||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|
|no race 1993 |
|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 ||5||Barry Geraghty||Nicky Henderson|
|2009||Go Native||6||Davy Condon||Noel Meade|
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 fog.
3 The 2008 edition was held at Wetherby over 2 miles and 110 yards.
- ↑ Northern Racing Venues, northernracing.co.uk, accessed 27 March 2010.
- ↑ "Fighting Fifth to launch the £1m rollover". icnewcastle.co.uk. October 28, 2006. http://icnewcastle.icnetwork.co.uk/0200sport/racing/tm_headline=fighting-fifth-to-launch-the--pound-1m-rollover&method=full&objectid=18006082&siteid=50081-name_page.html. Retrieved 2009-11-27.
- ↑ "What is the WBX Hurdling Triple Crown?". wbxtriplecrown.com. http://www.wbxtriplecrown.com/whatis.htm. Retrieved 2009-11-27.
- ↑ Go Native goes for WBX Triple Crown of Hurdling after winning WBX.com Fighting Fifth Hurdle, northernracing.co.uk, 8 March 2010, accessed 27 March 2010.
- pedigreequery.com – Fighting Fifth Hurdle – Newcastle.