martin pipe conditionalTop tipster Andrew Mount has no big fancies on Sunday so he turns his attention to the Cheltenham festival and has one to back at a huge price

DOLCITA (Mares’ Hurdle, 3.40 Cheltenham, Tuesday, March 16, 0.5pts each-way 50/1)

There’s nothing I like on Sunday’s cards, so I’ve turned my attention to the Cheltenham festival and the Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle on the opening day.

This race looks certain to cut up, with several entries having run yesterday and plenty more with alternative festival targets.

The Willie Mullins-trained Concertista will likely be hard to beat – she won the 2m1f mares’ novice by 12 lengths last year – but DOLCITA, runner-up in that race when a stablemate of the winner, could be worth chancing to sneak into the frame at huge odds.

Big-priced placed horses, usually ridden patiently, have been a feature of the mares’ races at the festival and those with long memories will recall how close we went with 66-1 advice Midnight Tour in this race three years ago (second by half a length at 33-1).

DOLCITA was beaten at odds of 1-4 on her reappearance in November having been switched to the Paul Nicholls yard and wasn’t seen again for three months when turning up in a Listed race at Warwick, this time on her debut for Fergal O’Brien after wind surgery. Her new yard has a poor record with first-time wind op horses (2-47) and she could never get involved on that pace-favouring track, keeping on into a modest 16-1 third of six.

Similar tactics will be ideal at Cheltenham and, though yet to have a festival winner, her trainer has done well with the handful of mares he runs at the meeting – Cap Soleil ran on three occasions, including a 10-1 second to Laurina in the mares’ novice, and Colin’s Sister finishing a 33-1 fourth of 15 in the Stayers’ Hurdle.

Today’s Best Bets

DOLCITA (Mares’ Hurdle, 3.40 Cheltenham, Tuesday, March 16, 0.5pts each-way 50/1)


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