Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Grade Two)
Updated: Mar 9, 2021
16:15 Cheltenham 18/03
The Mares’ Novice aka the Willie Mullins Show, is a relatively recent race having first been ran in 2016 and won every year by Mullins. Favourites have won three renewals for him with Concertista last year who was third favourite herself, and the other year by his fourth string at 50/1. He naturally has a strong hand here again and worth looking at his runners. There are two horses near the top of the market, Royal Kahala who beat favourite Hook UP when they met, who I’m not sure will be going. Travel restrictions makes it difficult for smaller stables to justify sending horses across from Ireland and they may not bother with only two runners at the meeting. Royal Kahala has also come out and lost to Rosey’s Hollow with Gauloise for Mullins in behind. The same could be said for Jonathan Sweeney with only two entries they may not be turning up to Cheltenham. That being said if all If they turn up it will be a fascinating match up and any would have a chance.
Based on stats alone Hook Up would have to be a strong fancy due to being a Mullins runner and favourite. However, ignoring stats I think she is worthy favourite anyway. Despite coming second to Royal Kahala when they met previously, she has stepped her form up drastically after that. She stepped up to Grade One company in the Chanelle Pharma Novice won by Appreciate it, finishing a not disgraced fourth with Ballyadam and Blue Lord in front. These are horses well fancied for the Supreme so clearly some decent form, with Martin Pipe favourite Wide Receiver in behind as well as Master McShee and Irascible who are some other good horses. She stayed on that day and the extra furlong here will suit her more so than the others and I think at 11/2 she is going to be my win bet for the race.
One at a bigger price who I will back each way is Telmesomehinggirl for Henry De Bromhead, you can still get 20/1 for this horse and on the chance that Rosey’s Hollow and Royal Kahala skip Cheltenham would end up much shorter. She has some good form coming into this with her not finishing outside of the top three this campaign, winning three times. The first in a maiden before placing in a listed race and winning twice in mares hurdles over two miles four. The last day she stepped up into a valuable mares hurdle at Leopardstown finishing a good third. The fact she stays that bit further will help her up the Cheltenham Hill and can see her plugging on into one of the places.
Hook Up 11/2 1pt win single
Telmesomethinggirl 20/1 0.5pts each way single