14 November 2018
A total of twenty-four horses, the highest number since 2009, have been entered for the Grade 1 BetVictor Fighting Fifth Hurdle, due to be run at Newcastle Racecourse on Saturday 1 December.
Run over two miles, the race traditionally features some of the main contenders for the Cheltenham Festival’s Champion Hurdle. Entries for the 2018 renewal features two-time Champion Hurdle winner and 2017 Fighting Fifth victor BUVEUR D’AIR, trained by Nicky Henderson.
Last season’s British Champion Trainer also enters CHARLI PARCS, WE HAVE A DREAM and VERDANA BLUE, winner of the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton this weekend.
Gigginstown House Stud’s SAMCRO has been entered by trainer Gordon Elliott, alongside stablemate APPLE'S JADE, second to Irving in the Fighting Fifth in 2016 and a subsequent multiple Grade One winner at both the Cheltenham and Punchestown Festivals.
2018 Supreme Hurdle winner SUMMERVILLE BOY, trained by Tom George, receives an entry, along with Dan Skelton’s County Hurdle winner MOHAAYED.
Sue Smith enters 2018 Scottish Champion Hurdle winner MIDNIGHT SHADOW, whilst Evan William’s SILVER STREAK could go to Newcastle straight from his recent Welsh Champion Hurdle success at Ffos Las in November.
Scottish trainer Iain Jardine enters BEDROCK, recent winner of the WKD Hurdle at Down Royal where he beat Samcro.
Iain Jardine commented, “We were delighted with Bedrock’s win at Down Royal and he is very much a horse on the up. We may well bump into Nicky Henderson’s Champion Hurdle winner in the BetVictor Fighting Fifth but we have beaten a hotpot in Samcro. We go to Newcastle excited for our new American owners and hope to give Buveur D’Air a tough time”.