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Martin Pipe Honoured as New Festival Race is Named After Him

Cheltenham Racecourse today announced that the newest race at The Festival is to be named in honour of Martin Pipe, the most successful Jump trainer of all time. The Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle, run for the first time in 2009, will be the penultimate race of The Festival, at 4.40pm on totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup Day, Friday, March 13.

Martin Pipe

martin pipe

Martin Pipe was champion trainer 15 times in 17 years and ended his career with 4,182 winners, including 34 at The Festival, placing him second in the all-time list of Festival trainers.

Commenting on the news, Cheltenham’s Managing Director, Edward Gillespie, said: “Martin Pipe is, quite simply, a legend. From humble beginnings he re-wrote both the record books and the racehorse training manual. His thirst for knowledge and appetite for innovation produced spectacular results over his 32-year training career. His exploits at Cheltenham, particularly at The Festival and November’s Open Meeting were stunning and I’m delighted that his name will sit alongside other great trainers at The Festival.”

Martin Pipe added: “This is a huge honour. Cheltenham has always been my favourite course and most of the best moments of my career were there. To be celebrated at The Festival alongside the likes of Vincent O’Brien, Fulke Walwyn, Fred Winter and David Nicholson is an amazing accolade, not only for me, but for all of my family and the magnificent team of people who made Pond House tick for 32 years.”

Martin Pipe CBE
Born May 29, 1945, Britain's record-breaking 15-time champion jump trainer began his working life as assistant to his late bookmaker father, David. From humble training origins as a permit holder, Pipe built a phenomenally-successful operation at Pound House at Nicholashayne in Somerset, pioneering techniques such as interval training and a scientific approach to his horses' well-being. He re-wrote the record book for the number of winners trained in a season, growing from single-figure successes after being granted a licence in 1977 to an incredible 230 in the 1990/91 season, and beat his own record in the 1999/2000 campaign with 243 successes. In 2004/05 he won his final title with 193 victories and he retired at the end of the 2005/06 season. Pipe won the John Smith’s Grand National with Freddie Starr’s Miinnehoma in 1994. He also trained the brilliant yet flawed Carvill's Hill, who won the Coral Welsh National in 1991. He trained 34 winners at The Festival from 1981 to 2006, second only to Fulke Walwyn, who amassed 40 winners at the meeting over a 50 year period. Martin’s Festival winners include the Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle with Granville Again (1993) and Make A Stand (1997). Pipe is married to Carol with one son, David who took over as trainer at Pond House when his father retired and saddled last year’s Grand National winner Comply Or Die. Martin was awarded the CBE in 2000 for services to racing.

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