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Triple Crown of Hurdling

The Triple Crown of Hurdling is awarded to any horse that wins all three of the Grade 1 Hurdling races in any given English National Hunt season. The three races making up the Triple Crown are:

  1. The Fighting Fifth Hurdle, held at the Newcastle Racecourse
  1. The Christmas Hurdle, held at Kempton Park Racecourse
  1. The Champion Hurdle, held at Cheltenham Racecourse

In 2006[1], the World Bet Exchange (WBX) put up a £1,000,000 bonus[2][3] to any horse that wins the Triple Crown. WBX offered the £1,000,000 prize, the richest in hurdling history,[4] as a way to boost the profile of the betting exchange prior to its launch.[5] The bonus is split among the winning horse's connections as follows:[6]

  • Owner: £700,000
  • Stable Lad: £100,000
  • Stable Staff: £50,000

The only horse to have ever won all three of Triple Crown races in a season was the Sir Michael Stoute trained grey Henbit gelding Kribensis in 1989-90.[7] Since the Triple Crown of Hurdling was established, only Punjabi and Go Native have come close to claiming the £1,000,000 prize, winning two of the three races.


Punjabi (2008/09)

Punjabi the first horse to win two legs of the Triple Crown of Hurdling. After narrowly beating out former champion Sublimity by a head to take out the 2008 Fighting Fifth Hurdle, Punjabi fell heavily at the second-last flight while vying for the lead of the 2008 Stan James Christmas Hurdle. Three months later, Punjabi held off the late rally of Celestial Halo to win the 2009 Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle as a 22/1 outsider.

His trainer, Nicky Henderson, was left to lament what might have been: "He was the forgotten horse. We'd have won a £1 million bonus if he hadn't fallen in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton. He would have won I think. He was cantering. Anyway this makes up for it."[8] Punjabi's owner, Raymond Tooth, later described Punjabi's fall at Kempton as, "...probably the most expensive fall in the history of racing."[9]

Go Native (2009/10)

Without his normal jockey Paul Carberry,[10] Go Native entered the 2009 Fighting Fifth Hurdle as a 25-1 long-shot. Go Native and jockey Davy Condon went on to win the race by 2.5 lengths over Sublimity.[11] Paul Carberry was quoted as saying: It wasn't a surprise to me. It looked tough on paper, but we know how good he is.[10]

Go Native, owned by the Docado Syndicate, entered the Christmas Hurdle as the 5-2 second favourite (behind Binocular),[12] and went on to secure a narrow victory over Starluck.[13]

A win in the 2010 Cheltenham Festival for Go Native would have made him the first horse to win the Triple Crown of Hurdling bonus. Over £205,000 was wagered on WBX for the 2009-10 Triple Crown to be won, the market was backed in from a high of 49/1 before the first leg to a low of 3.8/1 prior to the Champion Hurdle.[14] With jockey Paul Carberry set to ride Go Native, Meade said of his horse: He's in great order and I couldn't be happier with him. It's all systems go. He looks great, he had a little breeze out on the track and he was nice and fresh. His last piece of work was pretty good all right, we were very happy with it.[15] Unfortunately, Go Native was unable to clear the second hurdle cleanly and could not recover, finishing the race in 10th place.[16][17]

Triple Crown leg winners since the 1979/80 season

Race Season

Fighting Fifth Hurdle

Christmas Hurdle

Champion Hurdle

1979/80 Bird's Nest Bird's Nest Sea Pigeon
1980/81 Sea Pigeon Celtic Ryde Sea Pigeon
1981/82 Ekbalco RNR For Auction
1982/83 Donegal Prince Ekbalco Gaye Brief
1983/84 Gaye Brief Dawn Run Dawn Run
1984/85 Browne's Gazette Browne's Gazette See You Then
1985/86 Out of the Gloom Aonoch See You Then
1986/87 Tom Sharp Nohalmdun See You Then
1987/88 Floyd Osric Celtic Shot
1988/89 Floyd Kribensis Beech Road
1989/90 Kribensis Kribensis Kribensis
1990/91 Beech Road Fidway Morley Street
1991/92 Royal Derbi Gran Alba Royal Gait
1992/93 Halkopous Mighty Mogul Granville Again
1993/94 RNR Muse Flakey Dove
1994/95 Batabanoo Absalom's Lady Alderbrook
1995/96 Padre Mio RNR Collier Bay
1996/97 Space Trucker RNR Make A Stand
1997/98 Star Rage Kerawi Istabraq
1998/99 Dato Star French Holly Istabraq
1999/00 Dato Star Dato Star Istabraq
2000/01 Barton Geos RNR
2001/02 Landing Light Landing Light Hors La Loi III
2002/03 Intersky Falcon Intersky Falcon Rooster Booster
2003/04 The French Furze Intersky Falcon Hardy Eustace
2004/05 Harchibald Harchibald Hardy Eustace
2005/06 Arcalis Feathard Lady Brave Inca
2006/07 Straw Bear Jazz Messenger Sublimity
2007/08 Harchibald Straw Bear Katchit
2008/09 Punjabi Harchibald Punjabi
2009/10 Go Native Go Native Binocular
  • RNR Race not run.


  1. Montgomery, Sue (23 November 2006). "Racing: Bear stakes claim with Fighting chance". London: The Independent. http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/general/racing-bear-stakes-claim-with-fighting-chance-425366.html. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  2. "Hurdling aces can secure €1.49m bonus". breakingnews.ie. http://www.breakingnews.ie/archives/2006/1025/sport/cwidcwojgbql/. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  3. "What is the Triple Crown?". wbxtriplecrown.co.uk. http://www.wbxtriplecrown.co.uk/whatis.htm. Retrieved 2009-03-11. 
  4. Go Native closes in on £1m payout, mirror.co.uk, 16 February 2010, accessed 28 February 2010.
  5. WBX come out fighting in battle of the exchanges, dailymail.co.uk, 22 November 2006, accessed 28 February 2010.
  6. "WBX To Put Up £1m Hurdling Bonus Again". racingpost.com. http://www.wbx.com/InThePress/101947/WBX-To-Put-Up-1m-Hurdling-Bonus-Again.ashx. Retrieved 2009-09-20. 
  7. "Kribensis passes away at 23". rte.ie. http://www.rte.ie/sport/racing/2007/1018/kribensis.html. Retrieved 2009-03-11. 
  8. "Outsider Punjabi wins by a neck at Cheltenham". Scotsman.com. http://sport.scotsman.com/sport/Outsider-Punjabi-wins-by-a.5057132.jp. Retrieved 2009-03-11. 
  9. "Barry Geraghty rides 22-1 Punjabi to Champion Hurdle triumph". London: telegraph.co.uk. 10 March 2009. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/horseracing/4968849/Cheltenham-Festival-Barry-Geraghty-rides-22-1-Punjabi-to-Champion-Hurdle-triumph.html. Retrieved 2009-03-11. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 Native scores surprising Fighting Fifth win, rte.ie, 28 November 2009, accessed 28 February 2010.
  11. Go Native Rocks Binocular and Solwhit in Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle, dailymail.co.uk, 28 November 2009, accessed 28 February 2010.
  12. Native prevails in Christmas cracker, belfasttelegraph.co.uk, 26 December 2009, accessed 28 February 2010.
  13. Christmas Hurdle Goes Native, skysports.com 26 December 2009, accessed 28 February 2010
  14. All systems go for bonus hunting Go Native, puntinplay.com, 15 March 2010, accessed 21 March 2010.
  15. Native one in a million, google.com, 18 March 2010, accessed 21 March 2010.
  16. Disappointment for local runners at Cheltenham, meathchronical.ie, 16 March 2010, accessed 21 March 2010.
  17. Bone scans and back specialists turn 999-1 Binocular into a champion, guardian.co.uk, 16 March 2010, accessed 17 March 2010.

See also


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