The Mares Novices Hurdle is a Grade 2 race confined to fillies and mares over an extended two miles at the Cheltenham Festival. It was introduced in 2016 as The Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle in honour of the Champion Hurdle and Cheltenham Gold Cup winner.
The race was monopolised by Trainer Willie Mullins for the first five seasons; Limini (2016), Let’s Dance (2017), Laurina (2018), Eglantine Du Seuil (2019) and Concertista (2020). His domination was halted, temporarily at least, by Henry De Bromhead’s Telmesomethinggirl in 2021. The first three winners were all heavily-backed favourites but Eglantine Du Seuil sprang a 50-1 surprise. The Mares Novices Hurdle Odds 2024 has the Mullins-trained Jade Du Grugy as the clear favourite.
Latest Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle Odds
Gordon Elliott’s Brighterdaysahead has proven to be a really smart hurdling prospect this season and she will be a leading fancy for the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle, but she will face some notable adversaries in a race that could be full of quality.
Jade De Grugy is the first of those contenders that could be a key player in the betting, while Fergal O’Brien’s win machine Dysart Enos is another prominent figure in the latest odds and has to be regarded as a challenger.
Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle Odds and Entries 2024
There’s set to be another big field for this year’s renewal of the Dawn Run. Willie Mullins, Gordon Elliott and Fergal O’Brien appear to be sending the three strongest mares to the race in Jade Du Grugy, Brighterdaysahead and Dysart Enos. However, the field has been stacked in the past with potential, and 14/1 shots have now claimed the last two runnings, both for the home side.
Betting on the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle
The Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle was added to the Cheltenham Festival programme in 2016 when the meeting was extended to 28 races. For the first five years it was pointless to look beyond Trainer Willie Mullins for a bet on the Mares Novices Hurdle. He finally released his grip on the race when Henry de Bromhead’s Telmesomethinggirl won in 2021 and British trainers got on the board last year with Harry Fry’s Love Envoi.
The first three renewals were all won by heavily-backed favourites in Limini (2016), Let’s Dance (2017) and Laurina (2018). In 2019 the race was won by 50-1 chance Eglantine Du Seuil, again trained by Mullins but completely overlooked in the Mares Hurdle betting. She defeated 66-1 stable companion Concertista. The Irish trainer continued his monopoly of the race in 2020 when the runner-up returned to go one better at odds of 9-2.
Five-year-olds won the first four renewals while the last three have all gone to six-year-olds. The best trials have been the Solerina Mares’ Hurdle at Fairyhouse and the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle at Leopardstown, each featuring two subsequent Mares’ Hurdle winners.
Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle News
The Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle often attracts a strong field, with top trainers and jockeys competing for the prize, and 2024 looks no exception.
The entries for the race will be announced very soon, at which point we will bring you the latest news about who is likely to be involved.