Main Fact may target perfect 10 at Ascot

Main Fact may bid to stretch his remarkable winning streak to double figures in the Grade One Marsh Hurdle at Ascot next month.

A close-up third on his first start for David Pipe at Exeter last December, the seven-year-old has proved unbeatable in 2020 thus far – racking up five successive hurdling wins and a hat-trick on the Flat, before his latest assignment back over jumps at Haydock.

Main Fact faced a significant step up in distance and class in last Saturday’s Betfair Exchange Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle, but charged home from an uncompromising position to make it nine on the bounce in the Merseyside mud.

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He could now aim to complete his fairytale rise with a Grade One success in a race better known as the Long Walk on December 19.

Pipe said: “He’s come out of the race well, and I think we’ll give him an entry in the Long Walk at Ascot. It closes next week, so we’ll stick him in and see what happens.

“The handicapper has put him up 7lb, so he’s rated 154 now and hasn’t got too many options.

Fergus Gillard splattered with mud after winning aboard Main Fact at Haydock
Fergus Gillard splattered with mud after winning aboard Main Fact at Haydock (David Clough/PA)

“We’ve still got a long way to go to be in the same category as the likes of Paisley Park (rated 167) – but at the same time, everyone involved is living the dream.”

Bought out of Dianne Sayer’s yard for just £6,000 in the spring of 2018, Pipe believes Main Fact is the first horse trained at Pond House – the former base of his father and 15-time champion trainer, Martin – to win nine a row.

He added: “We’ve spoken about it since Saturday and we don’t think we’ve ever had one win nine in a row before. My father had one or two horses win eight, but not nine, so it’s nice to beat him at something!

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“I’m not sure how I managed to get him beaten off 98 at Exeter last year! It reminds me of Celestial Gold, who won the Paddy Power Gold Cup and the Hennessy (in 2004) – I managed to get him beaten in a point-to-point before he won his next three!

“When we bought him (Main Fact) we thought he’d be a good, fun horse for a syndicate – and the price was right. He had some form in the book and was bred by Juddmonte.

“We obviously never dreamed he was going to do this. It’s great for everyone involved and great for racing, as it shows everyone has a chance.”

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