Fighting Fifth Hurdle
Grade 1, (Newcastle) Sandown 13:15
£80,000 guaranteed, 4yo plus,
1m 7f 216y, Class 1  
Saturday 9th December 2023


1 Not So Sleepy 9/1
2 Love Envoi 6/4
3 You Wear It Well 5/4F
4 ran NR: Constitution Hill, Shishkin
Distances: 8l, 6½l, nk Time: 4m 26.03s (slow by 34.03s)

Not So Sleepy secured victory in the rescheduled Betfair Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Sandown, originally saved from Newcastle's abandoned card.

The race lost some appeal as Nicky Henderson withdrew Constitution Hill and Shishkin.

Only four horses participated, with Goshen and You Wear It Well setting a strong pace. Not So Sleepy, nearly 12 years old, remained comfortable under jockey Sean Bowen, overtaking rivals Love Envoi and others to win by eight lengths.

Bowen, leading the race for champion jockey, celebrated a significant success.


“You can see why Nicky didn’t want to turn up,” quipped a delighted Morrison.

“That was a Grade One, those mares were Grade One mares, Goshen should have won a Grade One and he has dead-heated in a Grade One. Whenever conditions are right he is a Grade One horse.

“I’m thrilled, this is the race we have aimed for since Newbury and it is a great relief that we are here.

“It’s great for the team and Raj who leads him up, rides him every day and gets ran away with at home. You have to keep it simple at home and he is a legend. This is his 10th season racing and he has lost none of his enthusiasm and he is better than ever.

“He is magnificent, he’s a legend, he is absolutely unique. He runs away with his jockey everyday and you can’t take him to half the gallops because he will plant and do things like that. But he was in the mood today, he looked really well and funny enough in the Cesarewitch didn’t look as well as I thought he would. If you looked at him today in the paddock he looked magnificent.

“Coming to the second last I thought we had it won and then I thought we were beat. But Sean said as soon as they came to him he just picked up again. He did what he did at Newbury and the reason he can keep going is you just don’t know how good he is.”

Bowen added: “It’s gruelling ground but it was something he seemed to relish today.

“It’s amazing to get a ride on that sort of horse. He was the outsider and probably had a lot to do, but on his day is a very very good horse.

“He got to the front two out and had a look around at the last, but he was always going to win when he heard someone behind him.

“It’s amazing to get these Grade Ones, it’s brilliant.”


Fighting Fifth Hurdle
£80,000 guaranteed, 4yo plus, 1m 7f 216y, Class 1
4 ran
Going: Heavy

1    Not So Sleepy 11 11-10 Hughie Morrison Jonjo O'Neill Jr 9/1
8 Love Envoi 7 11-3 Harry Fry Jonathan Burke 6/4
You Wear It Well 6 11-3 Jamie Snowden Sean Bowen 5/4F
nk Goshen 7 11-10 Gary Moore Niall Houlihan 7/1
NR Constitution Hill 6 11-10 Nicky Henderson NON RUNNER
NR Shishkin 9 11-10 Nicky Henderson NON RUNNER

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