Born on 7 February, 1973, David Pipe is the son of record-breaking 15-time champion Jump trainer Martin Pipe CBE.
Martin Pipe, who currently acts as David’s assistant trainer, sent out a total of 34 winners at The Festival, where he is honoured by the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle on the final day.
David worked for his father and started riding in point-to-points in 1992. He went on to record 22 wins between the flags over the next five seasons, plus two under Rules, which included victory aboard Bonanza Boy in the Ludlow Gold Cup.
After hanging up his race-riding boots, David had spells with Michael Dickinson in the US, Criquette Head-Maarek in France and Joey Ramsden in South Africa.
He went on to be a point-to-point trainer, handling the likes of Horus, Lord Atterbury and Celestial Gold, who went on to have successful careers under Rules when transferred to his father’s yard. Based at Purchas Farm, a mile away from Pond House, he sent out 164 point-to-point winners over six seasons, with Well Armed successful 15 times.
Having acted as assistant trainer to his father for several seasons, David became the trainer at Pond House Stables in his own right upon the official retirement of his father at the conclusion of the 2005/2006 jump season.
The now 39-year-old enjoyed the greatest day of his career to date when saddling the David Johnson-owned Comply Or Die to win the John Smith’s Grand National on 5 April, 2008, less than two years after sending out his first runner under Rules. The initial success came with that first runner on 9 May, 2006, when Standin Obligation, also owned by David Johnson, landed a novices’ chase at Kelso.
David certainly hit the ground running after taking over the reins from his record-breaking father. In his first year as master of Pond House Stables, he sent out 134 winners, more than any other trainer in Britain. He also finished third in the trainers’ championship, with the horses accumulating more than £1.6 million in prize money.
Highlights of that first season included Our Vic’s triumph in the Grade Two Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby in October, 2006, David’s first big race victory as a trainer. Standin Obligation provided another first as he gave David his initial winner at Cheltenham on 10 November, 2006, in the Steel Plate And Sections Novices’ Chase at The Open.
Gaspara provided him with a first winner at the Cheltenham Festival in 2007 when she was victorious in the Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle from 23 rivals, landing a £75,000 bonus offered by bookmakers Sunderlands following her victory in the Imperial Cup at Sandown Park just three days earlier.
David has gone on to saddle a total of seven winners at The Festival. Stable stalwart Our Vic gained a deserved Grade One success in the 2008 Ryanair Chase, while An Accordion landed what is now the JLT Specialty Chase in the same year.
The remarkably tough Buena Vista has succeeded in the last two renewals of the Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle, while another Cheltenham specialist, Great Endeavour, took the Byrne Group Plate in 2010. In addition to last year’s success with Buena Vista, Junior captured the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase in great style.
Away from The Festival, David landed his first Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham in November, 2011, with Great Endeavour, while Tamarinbleu was successful in the 2007 December Gold Cup.
Another star for the stable was Madison Du Berlais, winner of the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury in 2008 and successful in the Bowl at Aintree the following April.
The brave front-runner Lough Derg won a dozen races between 2003 and 2009, the highlight of which was the Grade One Long Walk Hurdle at his beloved Ascot in 2007.
The current stable star is the remarkable grey Grands Crus. The French-bred progressed rapidly during the 2010/11 season, when he landed the Grade Two Racing4Rewards Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham en route to only finding the mighty Big Buck’s too good in the Grade One Ladbrokes World Hurdle at The Festival.
This season, the seven-year-old has looked a high-class chaser in the making, with his three victories over fences including a ready success in the Grade One William Hill Feltham Novices’ Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.
Tom Scudamore is the stable jockey at Pond House, echoing the partnership of his father Peter and Martin Pipe that was so successful in the 1980s and early 1990s.
David’s total for the current campaign stands at 71 (as of Monday, 20 February), while he sent out 100 British winners in 2007/08, 76 in 2008/09, 102 in 2009/10 and 65 in 2010/11.
DAVID PIPE’S SEVEN WINNERS AT THE FESTIVAL
- Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle – 2007 Gaspara
- JLT Specialty Chase (Handicap) – 2008 An Accordion
- Ryanair Chase – 2008 Our Vic
- Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle – 2010 & 2011 Buena Vista
- Byrne Group Handicap Chase – 2010 Great Endeavour
- Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase – 2011 Junior
DAVID PIPE’S LEADING FESTIVAL CONTENDERS
BUENA VISTA (IRE)
- 11 b g In The Wings — Park Special (Relkino)
- Form: 6416/11112336/116F/4503/3000062/050014/02000016–0000500
- Owner: Matt Archer & the late Jean Broadhurst
- Breeder: Lodge Park Stud
David Pipe said: “The handicaps at The Festival closed today and we have entered lots of horses in them. Buena Vista is quite special to Pond House and it will be great to have him run at his eighth Festival. He is not showing his age. He has been out of sorts so far this season. He ran a decent race at Wincanton three runs ago and I thought he was coming back to himself. He then went to Kempton and ran a shocker. We were slightly worried but he went to Newbury last week and ran much better.
"The ground has come right for him in the last two seasons and he rises to the occasion. He is a lot better on good ground. He has won off 133 and 138 and his latest mark is 140 so it is not going to be easy and you cannot expect him to be improving at the age of 11. But he deserves to take his chance. He owes his owners and Pond House absolutely nothing. He is in cracking form at home. He is will be ridden by one of the claimers in the yard.”
The admirable front-runner Buena Vista has lined up at The Festival for each of the last seven years, with notable performances coming when third in the 2006 William Hill Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and in the past four renewals of the Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle, where he has finished fifth, second, first and first. His season has been geared around gaining an unprecedented third success in the Pertemps Final and despite finishing down the field on his seven starts so far this season, he comes alive at Cheltenham in March.
Race Record – Starts: 48; Wins: 9; 2nd: 3; 3rd: 4; Win & Place Prize Money: £210,050
GRANDS CRUS (FR)
- 7 gr g Dom Alco (FR) – Fee Magic (FR) (Phantom Breeze)
- Form: 00212/11122–6111
- Owner: Roger Stanley & Yvonne Reynolds
- Breeder: Jean-Marie Prost Alamartine
David Pipe said: “We would have liked to have gone to Newbury but unfortunately that was the only race not transferred. He has had enough experience, having had three runs. I wanted to get some runs into him early because you never know what will happen with weather, the well-being of the horses etc. He has made one mistake in three runs. He is quite laidback at home, but not in his races. He has jumped very well and gone round Cheltenham, Newbury and Kempton. He is obviously a very exciting horse. He finished close to Big Buck’s in the World Hurdle last year which shows how good a horse he is – that was a fantastic race and we nearly pulled it off.
"Grands Crus was always going to be an exciting chaser. We won’t decide which race to go for at Cheltenham until closer to the time. We have to see what is left in the races and ground conditions. He is keen on the gallops and we are keeping him fit. Gerry Supple worked him this morning on the gallops and he worked well.”
Current Festival Entries: RSA Chase & Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup
The French-bred Grands Crus began his career when finishing mid-division in bumpers at Aintree and Hereford in the autumn of 2009. His attention was then switched to hurdles and he showed immediate improvement to finish second at 66/1 to Wishfull Thinking at Taunton in January, 2010. A comfortable success over two miles and five furlongs followed at Plumpton 10 days later and his first season concluded with a fine second to the useful Sanctuaire at Taunton the following month.
The highly-talented grey progressed into a top-class staying hurdler last season, winning competitive handicaps in great style at Cheltenham (two miles and five furlongs) and Haydock (three miles) in November, before routing his 13 rivals by 10 lengths in the Grade Two Rewards4Racing Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham in January, 2011.
He pushed Big Buck’s further than any horse has done to date in the Grade One Ladbrokes World Hurdle at The Festival in March, 2011 when going down by a length and three quarters and found that rival five lengths too strong again at Aintree three weeks later in another Grade One contest. He returned to France for an Auteuil Grade One in June but could only finish sixth and this season began properly with a winning debut over fences at Cheltenham’s Open meeting in November before he readily dispatched of Sonofvic in a Grade Two at Newbury over three miles two weeks later.
Grands Crus completed his Cheltenham preparation with an impressive display in the Grade One William Hill Feltham Novices’ Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day, beating Silviniaco Conti by two and a quarter lengths in a time of 6m 2.20s – a faster time than that achieved by Kauto Star in the William Hill King George VI Chase over the same course and distance just over an hour later.
Race Record – Starts: 14; Wins: 7; 2nd: 4; 3rd: –; Win & Place Prize Money: £219,505
- 6 gr g Martaline – Bellissima De Mai (FR) (Pistolet Bleu (IRE))
- Form: 445/3216–142
- Owner: John White
- Breeder: Paul Chartier
David Pipe said: “He is not as big as Our Father but plenty big enough. We were hoping to run him in my father’s race off 138 last year and unfortunately collateral form put him up to 141, meaning he could not run as the race had a 140 cut-off point. The race this year is 0–145 and the year before we had Grands Crus in my father’s race and he got balloted out. I may be destined not to win that race!
"Dynaste has had a great season so far – winning very impressively at Haydock. We tried to make all at Ascot and run the finish out of Big Buck’s which did not work. We have tried numerous ways with greys to beat Big Buck’s but none of them have worked so far – we will keep trying. We changed tactics at Cheltenham last time and held on to him a lot longer and he ran a much better race to finish second to Big Buck’s and the third franked the form at the weekend. It was all roads to the World Hurdle after that and we have freshened him up.
'He is full of beans at present, hence Gerry Supple helping Catherine. He won’t mind what the ground is at Cheltenham, though preferably there would be some cut. It is very nearly impossible to beat Big Buck’s but it won’t stop us from trying. If he can finish in the first three, it will be a great run.”
Current Festival Entries: Ladbrokes World Hurdle
Dynaste was bought by John White, whose family have been longstanding owners with David and Martin Pipe, for €8,000 at Arqana’s summer sale at Saint-Cloud, France, in June, 2010. The Martaline gelding had previously shown some ability in three starts over hurdles for Xavier Thomas-Demeaulte, including a never-nearer fifth over two and a quarter miles at Auteuil in October, 2009.
Dynaste made his debut for Pipe with a third in a two-mile hurdle at Worcester in October, 2010 and he improved on that effort at Cheltenham’s Open Meeting the following month as he went down by three and a half lengths to red-hot favourite Aegean Dawn in a conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle over an extra five furlongs. He made all of the running for a short-head success in a similar contest at Taunton a month later and ended his season by finishing sixth in a Grade Three novices’ handicap hurdle at Sandown in March, 2011.
Dynaste started the current campaign with a stunning victory in a valuable fixed-brush handicap hurdle at Haydock on 19 November, when he stepped up to three miles. He made most of the running to beat Benny Be Good by eight lengths. As with Grands Crus, who had recorded an equally impressive success in the same Haydock race 12 months earlier, Dynaste was upped significantly in class afterwards and he made a strong pace when fourth behind Big Buck’s in the Grade One Lough Derg Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot on 17 December. He re-opposed Big Buck’s in the Grade Two Rewards4Racing Cleeve Hurdle on Festival Trials’ Day, 28 January, and ran another excellent race in defeat as he finished second, seven lengths behind the three-time Ladbrokes World Hurdle victor.
Race Record – Starts: 10; 1st: 2; 2nd: 2; 3rd: 1; Win & Place Prize Money: £80,541
GREAT ENDEAVOUR (IRE)
- 8 gr g Great Palm (USA) – Strong Irish (IRE) (Corrouge (USA))
- Form: 1110/31441/62F6–140
- Owner: David Johnson
- Breeder: Kevin Roche
David Pipe said: “He was busy in the first half of the season and has had a nice break. He was very impressive in November when winning the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham. We then went to the Hennessy and he did not quite see out the trip. He was back at Cheltenham in December which was probably one race too many and he made bad mistake that day which did not help. He is usually a very good jumper. We have always thought a lot of him.
"He has won at one Cheltenham Festival already and we are hoping he can make it a second time there. Since December he has been freshened up. We did the same thing last year when he went to the three-mile handicap chase but unfortunately things did not go to plan – he got left at the start.
"He’s at his best on better ground – he would not want it too soft. He is in the Ryanair and we have given him an entry in the Byrne Plate (15 March) as well. He is sort of in between – he has to carry top-weight in the Byrne or has to find a few pounds with Riverside Theatre in the Ryanair. Riverside Theatre is 165 and we are 157. He should run a big race.”
Current Festival Entries: Ryanair Chase
Great Endeavour has already recorded a pair of major handicap chase victories at Cheltenham, having captured the Byrne Group Plate at The Festival in March, 2010, and landed the Paddy Power Gold Cup at The Open in November, 2011. The David Johnson-owned eight-year-old joined David Pipe in the summer of 2008 following a comfortable victory in a point-to-point at Dromahane, Ireland, on his sole appearance for Tom Lombard.
He made an impressive start to his career at Pond House, winning over hurdles at Southwell, Uttoxeter and Towcester but disappointed on his first appearance at The Festival in 2009 as he was well beaten in the Grade Three Coral Cup. Great Endeavour headed back to Cheltenham to finish third in the Listed Jardine Lloyd Thompson Handicap Hurdle in November, 2009, and made a winning start over fences by taking a novices’ chase at Towcester two weeks later. But he failed to build on that victory and was fourth in novices’ chases at Fontwell and Lingfield before returning to form with his victory in the Byrne Group Plate.
He made three successive appearances in handicap company at Cheltenham in the 2010/2011 campaign, finishing sixth in the Paddy Power Gold Cup, going down by a length to Poquelin in the December Gold Cup and falling two fences out when very much in contention in the JLT Specialty Handicap Chase. Great Endeavour ended his season with a sixth in another competitive handicap chase at Aintree.
He kicked off the current campaign with his facile success over Quantitativeeasing in the Paddy Power Gold Cup and narrowly failed to follow up in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury two weeks later as he faded in the closing stages to come home fourth behind Carruthers. On his latest start, Great Endeavour made a bad mistake before fading to finish 11th behind Quantitativeeasing in the Grade Three Spinal Research The Atlantic 4 Gold Cup at Cheltenham on 10 December.
Race Record – Starts: 16; 1st: 6; 2nd: 1; 3rd: 1; Win & Place Prize Money: £196,757
- 9 ch g Singspiel (IRE) – For More (FR) (Sanglamore (USA))
- Jump Form: 2256/0230/521220/43131/321–0
- Owner: Middleham Park Racing LI
- Breeder: Paul Green
David Pipe said: “He ran well at Newbury over hurdles the other day. He got tired in the straight and everything leads to the Grand National. But we are hoping to give him a run before and that will be in the Grimthorpe at Doncaster, the JLT Specialty Chase or the Gold Cup. The Gold Cup has been a good trial for the National and there is another week between Cheltenham and Aintree this year. He was very impressive at Cheltenham last year when winning the Kim Muir. Unfortunately, he went up a lot for that and is now rated 153.
"He is a real character but has done extremely well on the Flat and over hurdles and fences. The Newbury run will have blown the cobwebs out and hopefully we can take him to Cheltenham for one of the two races there. He will obviously be a big price in the Gold Cup but he stays all day and they always go at a good pace. He loves Cheltenham. He handles soft but prefers better ground.”
Current Festival Entries: Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup
Junior joined a select band of horses to win at Royal Ascot and the Cheltenham Festival in March, 2011, with a superb 24-length success under amateur Jamie Codd in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase. The son of Singspiel had previously captured the Ascot Stakes in June, 2010 and he began his racing career on the Flat with Brian Meehan, winning three handicaps. He also made his debut over hurdles for the Manton handler and was sixth behind Gaspara in the Listed Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at The Festival in March, 2007.
Junior moved to the yard of Alan King at the start of 2008 and returned to Cheltenham finish an excellent third behind Naiad Du Misselot in the Grade Three Coral Cup at that year’s Festival. After registering a belated first win over hurdles in a Grade Two novices’ contest at Sandown in December, 2008, Junior ran another excellent race to chase home Diamond Harry in the Grade One Challow Novices’ Hurdle at Newbury later the same month. He finished a disappointing 10th in the Grade One Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle at The Festival in 2009 and was sent chasing for the 2009/2010 campaign.
Junior posted a pair of victories over fences at Doncaster and Taunton and was purchased by Middleham Park Racing for £35,000 at Doncaster’s Spring National Hunt in May, 2010. He gave his new connections an immediate return on their investment when scoring on his debut for David Pipe at Royal Ascot the following month and followed that victory up with another fine effort on the Flat as he took second in the Goodwood Handicap at the end of July.
Junior started the 2010/2011 season with a good third in a Grade Three handicap chase at Cheltenham’s Open Meeting and returned to the same course to come home third in a handicap hurdle on New Year’s Day, 2011. Following his emphatic victory at last year’s Festival, Junior headed back to Royal Ascot for another crack at the Ascot Handicap but he could only finish ninth in the two and a half mile marathon. Junior is being aimed at the John Smith’s Grand National, for which he is favourite, after taking in a race at The Festival. He made his made his seasonal return at Newbury on 17 February, when coming home eighth under top-weight in an extended three-mile handicap hurdle.
Jump Race Record – Starts: 23; 1st: 4; 2nd: 7; 3rd: 4; Win & Place Prize Money: £101,873
- 4 b g Sinndar (IRE) – Quiet Splendor (USA) (Unbridled (USA)
- Jump Form: 211
- Owner: Twelve Pipers Piping
- Breeder: Haras De Son Altesse L'Aga Khan S C E A
David Pipe said: “He is a big strapping four-year-old who had some very decent form in France, rated about 95 on the Flat. He has only had three runs here. He has beat nothing in his two wins but did it very well. He is rated 130 and is in the Fred Winter, the Triumph and my father’s race. We decided to keep him fresh for Cheltenham. He jumps and stays well. He acts on soft but would be fine on better ground. He looks a classy horse and is a good work horse at home.”
Current Festival Entries: JCB Triumph Hurdle
Kazlian was useful on the Flat in 2011 for French trainer Jean-Claude Rouget, winning over 11 furlongs at Cagnes-Sur-Mer prior to finishing second in the Listed race at Saint-Cloud. He was subsequently sold for 120,000 euros at the Arqana sales in June and began his hurdling career when beaten 15 lengths by Unknown Rebel at Market Rasen on 6 November. He improved for that experience and heavy ground when routing his four rivals at Ffos Las by 50 lengths in December, before putting up an impressive performance against his elders at Leicester on 10 January.
Jump Race Record – Starts: 3; 1st: 2; 2nd: 1; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £6,688
OUR FATHER (IRE)
- 6 gr g Shantou (USA) — Rosepan (IRE) (Taipan (IRE))
- Form: 122–1
- Owner: The Ives & Johnson Families
- Breeder: P Tierney
David Pipe said: “Since winning at Ascot, we have kept him at home. He is a big horse who will make a smashing chaser next year but hopefully he can do a bit more this year. He is an old-fashioned chaser and had a good first season. He put up a good performance at Ascot and the form has been franked since. He took a bit of time to get over the race and we got a bit further down the line so we decided to go straight to Cheltenham. He won off 129 at Ascot and unfortunately went up to 148 which makes life harder for him. But he has the size to carry weight and he is entered in the Coral Cup, Pertemps and the World Hurdle. He is more likely to go to one of the handicaps and we will decide closer to the time. He has not raced over three miles yet but I am sure he will stay it.”
Current Festival Entries: Ladbrokes World Hurdle
Our Father made a successful hurdling debut in January, 2011, when winning by four lengths at Chepstow. He ran two more good races in defeat, finishing second back at the Welsh track in early February, 2011, before filling the same spot at Newbury a month later. The grey was well supported ahead of his handicap debut at Ascot on his return to the track in December, 2011, and he duly obliged coming from off the pace under a well-timed ride from Timmy Murphy to win by a length and a half.
Race Record – Starts: 4; 1st: 2; 2nd: 2; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £10,214
THE PACKAGE (GB)
- 9 br g Kayf Tara — Ardent Bride (Ardross)
- Form: 1/2102P/362203/02312U5/5–
- Owner: David Johnson
- Breeder: Barkfold Manor Stud
David Pipe said: “You won’t have seen much of him of late. He had a tendon injury and has had time off. He has been at Timmy Murphy’s resting and has not been back with us for that long. He is in good form at present. The plan is to hopefully to go to Cheltenham but we do need everything to go A1. We hope to run him in the JLT Specialty Chase (13 March), a race he finished second in two years ago when he was unlucky not to win. He was off 141 then and now is rated 139. He is an old-fashioned Irish store horse who may go to the National after Cheltenham. The time off has not done him any harm and he seems as well as ever at home, showing his old sparkle.”
The Package won a bumper and maiden hurdle in November, 2007, and was pulled up in the Coral Cup at The Festival in 2008. He made his chasing debut at Cheltenham in October, 2008, finishing third to Poquelin. He was placed four times over fences and once over hurdles before gaining his first chase success in the Listed Neptune Investment Management Handicap Chase over three miles one and a half furlongs at Cheltenham in December, 2009. He returned to Cheltenham at the 2010 Festival for the JLT Speciality Chase, but he could not quite reel in Chief Dan George when going down by a head in a pulsating finish. He was out of luck on his next three starts, including when unseating Graham Lee in the 2010 John Smith’s Grand National and hasn’t been seen out since finishing fifth in the Badger Ales Trophy at Wincanton in November, 2010.
Race Record – Starts: 20; Wins: 3; 2nd: 6; 3rd: 3; Win & Place Prize Money: £87,825
DAVID PIPE’S CURRENT ENTRIES AT THE FESTIVAL
CHAMPION DAY, TUESDAY, 13 MARCH 2012
- William Hill Supreme Novices' Hurdle – Close House, Catch Tammy, Waterunder
LADIES' DAY, WEDNESDAY, 14 MARCH 2012
- Diamond Jubilee National Hunt Chase – Take Over Sivola, Taratata Sivola No Secrets
- Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle – Close House, Shotavodka, Waterunder, Poole Master, Fiulin, The Tracey Shuffle, Buddy Bolero
- RSA Chase – Grands Crus
- sportingbet.com Queen Mother Champion Chase – I'm So Lucky, I'msingingtheblues
ST PATRICK’S THURSDAY, 15 MARCH 2012
- Jewson Novices’ Chase – Notus De La Tour
- Ryanair Chase – Great Endeavour, I'msingingtheblues, I'm So Lucky
- Ladbrokes World Hurdle – Our Father, Dynaste
GOLD CUP DAY, FRIDAY, 16 MARCH 2012
- JCB Triumph Hurdle – Kazlian
- Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle – Big Occasion, Buddy Bolero, The Tracey Shuffle, Poole Master, Goulanes
- Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup – Junior, Grands Crus