NH Fixtures & Sales Dates
|Sat May 25|
Cartmel, Ffos Las
|Sun May 26 @08:00 - 05:00PM|
Fontwell, Kelso, Uttoxeter
|Mon May 27|
Entries & Recent Form
About David Pipe
Written by James C Smith
Born to train racehorses...
David Pipe was born to train racehorses. Son of Martin Pipe CBE, fifteen times champion National Hunt trainer, and the most successful racehorse trainer in British racing history, David fast carved a niche for himself as an extremely successful and talented Point-to-Point trainer. Indeed, during his six seasons as a trainer of Pointers, David amassed no fewer than 164 winners (including 47 Point-to-Points and two Hunter Chases in his final season) – each weekend he seemed to return with a winner!
Channelled his talents...Since his father’s retirement from training at the end of April 2006, David has channelled his talents towards the Pond House string – a role which has provided a varied, challenging and rewarding role alongside his record-breaking father who now occupies the position of assistant trainer.
Despite his tender years in comparison to his contemporaries, David has amassed a wealth of experience. He has learnt his trade not only from the champion British jumps trainer, but also through experience with some of the world’s other leading handlers including Michael Dickinson in America, Cricquette Head-Maarek in France and Joey Ramsden in South Africa.
David’s fledgling career met with unparalleled success, indeed his first winner Standin Obligation (Kelso, 9th May 2006) was quickly followed by two more, Wee Dinns and Papillon de Iena making it a treble for the day. By the end of the season the tally stood at 134 winners (more than any other trainer) and prize money won was in excess of £1.6million. David had finished third in the trainers championship and had along the way become the first trainer to saddle one hundred winners in his debut season and also landed his first Cheltenham Festival winner, Gaspara in the 2007 Fred Winter Juvenile Hurdle for his father.
The 2007/08 season was to prove even more spectacularly successful – as if a Cheltenham Festival double was not enough (An Accordion, William Hill Trophy and Our Vic, Ryanair Chase); he posted another double at the Grand National meeting for good measure. Our Vic managed to follow up his fantastic Festival success by taking the notable scalp of 2007 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Kauto Star in the totesport Bowl Chase, while Comply Or Die provided the highlight of the whole season with his sensational victory in the John Smiths Grand National itself – a feat that took his father twenty years to achieve!
A final tally of 100 winners for the season was a little short of the 2006/2007 total, but with prize money approaching £2.5million, David moved from third to second place in the trainer’s table – an incredible accomplishment in only his second season training.
The 2008/09 season produced further success at the highest level when Madison du Berlais belied his odds of 25/1 to claim Newbury's Hennessy Gold Cup. He would continue his remarkable improvement throughout the season by destroying Denman at Kempton in February, before going on to win the totesport Bowl at the Grand National meeting in April. Meanwhile, the ever popular and tough as teak Lough Derg chipped in with three victories (including a second success in Fontwell's National Spirit Hurdle).
The 2009/10 campaign was filled with numerous highlights. In the summer, former selling plater Star Of Germany completed his amazing transformation under David's tutelage to win Newton Abbot's Listed Lord Mildmay Chase, while Cheltenham's Paddy Power meeting in November brought what was for many, the training performance of the season as Pipe Jnr produced great favourite Well Chief from another spell on the sidelines to overturn reigning Champion Chaser Master Minded in the Connaught Chase.
March provided another brace of Cheltenham Festival winners and breakthrough successes for the Pond House conditional jockeys - Buena Vista and Great Endeavour romped to victory under Hadden Frost and Danny Cook respectively, while Johnny Farrelly, another Pipe conditional also landed the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockey's Handicap Hurdle.
The final day of the season saw David break through the century barrier for the third time in four years with a magnificent four-timer. Ashkazar brought up the hundred in scintillating fashion, while I'm So Lucky capped a memorable season by winning the Grade 2 Celebration Chase.
2010/11 saw the emergence of another Pipe superstar onto the big stage. His name was Grands Crus and he carried all before him as he toyed with his rivals in the Paddy Power Intermediate Hurdle at Cheltenham’s Open Meeting, the Fixed Brush Hurdle (Listed) at Haydock and the Cleeve Hurdle (Grade 2), again at Cheltenham. Grands Crus proved to be the most legitimate challenger that outstanding staying hurdler Big Buck’s has faced and it was no disgrace that he was the only horse to lower the colours of David’s dashing grey all season. Runner-up in both the World Hurdle and Liverpool Hurdle at the Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals rounded off an amazing season and he will make some chaser.
The quality did not start and finish with Grands Crus however. In March, Buena Vista put up a remarkable performance under Conor O’Farrell to follow-up his victory in the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, while Junior (already a Royal Ascot winner on the flat for Pipe Jnr) ran away with the Kim Muir Chase under amateur jockey Jamie Codd to take David’s Festival tally to five.
Meanwhile, under Pipe’s tutelage, Battle Group, a reformed character blossomed from a 107 rated handicapper to win five times during the course of the season, culminating in Listed success at Aintree’s Grand National meeting.
Formidable string of horses...
Considering the incredible success that he has already enjoyed it is therefore unsurprising that David has been able to assemble a formidable string of horses and an enviable portfolio of supportive owners who appreciate the honest and approachable demeanour of the trainer as well as his sublime skill. At Pond House, the onus is on treating each and every owner in the same open and friendly manner whether they own a share in a horse, or a large string of horses. Such an approach looks sure to continue to repay future dividends on the track...