GRAND National-winning trainer David Pipe ended his long wait for a Grade 1 winner at Chepstow on Saturday.
Pipe, son of legendary former trainer Martin, had gone 2,043 days without a winner at the top level before Adagio bagged the Finale Hurdle.
Adagio gave David Pipe his first Grade 1 winner in five and a half yearsCredit: PA:Press Association
That winner was Un Temps Pour Tout, who won a Grade 1 in France on June 7 in 2015.
The stable’s last Grade 1 winner in Britain was three months earlier, when Moon Racer won the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham.
It has been a long road back to the top table for the yard, who have endured some lean years recently.
The Pond House trainer saddled a high of 116 winners in the 2014-15 campaign but crashed to a low of just 33 winners in 2017-18.
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Pipe, who took over the training licence from his dad in 2006, enjoyed regular Grade 1 success with the likes of Our Vic, Dynaste and Grands Crus in the past.
And he will be hoping this is the first of many for the exciting Adagio, who is now 10-1 from 20-1 with Betfair for the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham after his impressive win under Tom Scudamore.
Pipe said: “It is great for the yard to have this calibre of horse and to win these kind of races again.
“It was a very good performance and the first two were favourite and second-favourite, so it’s rock solid form.
David Pipe ended his long wait for a Grade 1 winner on Saturday
“I think we learnt a lot when he got beaten by Duffle Coat at Cheltenham in November. Last time at Cheltenham we rode him with more restraint and we did again today.
“We hadn’t declared him for this race when it was originally due to be run over Christmas. We came here today hoping it wouldn’t be quite as bad, it’s only soft ground rather than heavy and he’s handled that well.”
Pipe added: “We were coming here today to find out whether we were going for the Triumph Hurdle or the Fred Winter. It will be the Triumph Hurdle now.
“He’s always gone well at home – he’s got an engine. He was a bit quirky early on, but he’s improved since he’s been gelded.
“We’ll see how he comes out of today. Maybe he’ll go straight to Cheltenham, or maybe he’ll have one more run somewhere.
“We’ll enjoy today and have a think about it next week.”
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