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16:10 Cheltenham

Soft

Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle (Registered As The David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle) (Grade 1) (GBB Race)

  • Prize money: £72024.47
  • 2m 3f 200y
  • Class 1
  • 10 runners
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Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle (Registered As The David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle) (Grade 1) (GBB Race)

Runners: 10 runners

Type: Hurdle Turf

Surface: Turf

Weather: Showers

OUR TIP

7/2 (Won)

  • Win: £3.25
  • Place: £1.20

Form: 11-132 CD

Last run: 37 days

W: 11st 5lb

9 yo Mare

OR: 159

Form & Verdict

May have lost her air of invincibility with defeats in the Hatton's Grace and Irish Champion this winter but in the former contest she still recorded a higher RPR than has ever been achieved in the 15 previous runnings of this race; seemingly doesn't have quite the gears of old but should still make a bold bid to extend her unbeaten Festival record to four; the winner of this event in 2020 and the Champion Hurdle in 2021 and 2022.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

1st

4

14th Mar 2023

Soft

2m 3f 200y

Class 1

16:10 Cheltenham

Honeysuckle

11st 5lb

J: Rachael Blackmore

T: Henry De Bromhead

May have lost her air of invincibility with defeats in the Hatton's Grace and Irish Champion this winter but in the former contest she still recorded a higher RPR than has ever been achieved in the 15 previous runnings of this race; seemingly doesn't have quite the gears of old but should still make a bold bid to extend her unbeaten Festival record to four; the winner of this event in 2020 and the Champion Hurdle in 2021 and 2022.

7/2

2nd

6

5th Feb 2023

Yielding

2m 0f 0y

15:10 Leopardstown

Honeysuckle

11st 5lb

J: Rachael Blackmore

T: Henry De Bromhead

prominent, raced in second from 2nd, pecked on landing 3 out, pushed along after 2 out, ridden and outpaced approaching last, 3 lengths down last, no extra run-in

6/4

3rd

8

4th Dec 2022

Yielding

2m 3f 130y

14:30 Fairyhouse

Honeysuckle

11st 3lb

J: Rachael Blackmore

T: Henry De Bromhead

in touch with leaders

4/9

9/1

  • Place: £2.40

Form: 112-11 C

Last run: 66 days

W: 11st 5lb

7 yo Mare

OR: 147

Form & Verdict

Made it eight wins from her nine starts (including the Dawn Run at last season's Festival) when an easy Listed scorer over 2m4f at Sandown (soft) in January; Brandy Love was too good for her when the pair clashed at Fairyhouse last spring, though, and she will likely require a big career best if she's to enhance that excellent strike-rate.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

5th

7

12th Mar 2024

Soft

2m 3f 200y

Class 1

16:10 Cheltenham

Love Envoi

11st 5lb

J: Jonathan Burke

T: Harry Fry

towards rear

12/1

2nd

5

27th Jan 2024

Good To Soft

2m 0f 179y

Class 1

15:00 Cheltenham

Love Envoi

11st 1lb

J: Jonathan Burke

T: Harry Fry

Raced mainly on soft/heavy (withdrawn due to good ground once); smart mare whose record is 8-12 and who performed very well (first/second) at the last two Cheltenham Festivals; may be back on song with Sandown reappearance under her belt; has the best chance at the weights.

3/1

2nd

5

9th Dec 2023

Soft

1m 7f 216y

Class 1

13:15 Sandown

Love Envoi

11st 3lb

J: Jonathan Burke

T: Harry Fry

Picked up a stress fracture at Punchestown (soundly beaten) when last seen but has made a full recovery; has a solid/progressive record (at 2m-2m5f) otherwise and career record is 8-11; ran well behind Honeysuckle in a strong Mares' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival (soft) two starts ago; 3-3 at Sandown, including a win on this card last year; remains of major interest.

13/2

20/1

  • Place: £3.50

Form: 2-3121 D

Last run: 20 days

W: 11st 5lb

8 yo Mare

OR: 145

Form & Verdict

Second to Marie's Rock in this 12 months ago; warmed up for this year's renewal with a win in a 2m4f Punchestown Grade 3 (yielding) three weeks ago, but Brandy Love was just under 5l behind in third and meets her on 9lb better terms now; this likeable mare looks sure to give her running but this looks a stronger race than last year.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

6

29th Apr 2023

Good To Yielding

2m 3f 30y

15:50 Punchestown

Queens Brook

11st 7lb

J: Keith Donoghue

T: Gordon Elliott

Second to Marie's Rock in Grade 1 event at Cheltenham last year and third to Honeysuckle last month; was getting 9lb and had the advantage of race-fitness when relegation Brandy Love to third here in February; did well to uphold that form at Cheltenham; place chance again.

5/1

3rd

8

14th Mar 2023

Soft

2m 3f 200y

Class 1

16:10 Cheltenham

Queens Brook

11st 5lb

J: Davy Russell

T: Gordon Elliott

Second to Marie's Rock in this 12 months ago; warmed up for this year's renewal with a win in a 2m4f Punchestown Grade 3 (yielding) three weeks ago, but Brandy Love was just under 5l behind in third and meets her on 9lb better terms now; this likeable mare looks sure to give her running but this looks a stronger race than last year.

20/1

1st

3

22nd Feb 2023

Yielding

2m 4f 100y

14:15 Punchestown

Queens Brook

10st 12lb

J: Jordan Gainford

T: Gordon Elliott

raced in second, led going okay 2 out, ridden when faced challenge before last, ran on after last

2/1

Form: 35-2F1

Last run: 44 days

W: 11st 5lb

7 yo Mare

OR: 152

Form & Verdict

Very talented dual-purpose mare who looked better than ever when hacking up in a Naas Grade 3 hurdle (1m7f, soft) at the end of January; didn't obviously fail to stay when a below-form fifth in this race last year but tends to race freely and her stamina certainly isn't assured; Paul Townend sides with Brandy Love.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

2

12th Mar 2024

Soft

2m 3f 200y

Class 1

16:10 Cheltenham

Echoes In Rain

11st 5lb

J: Brian Hayes

T: W P Mullins

in rear

25/1

4th

5

4th Feb 2024

Soft

2m 0f 0y

14:45 Leopardstown

Echoes In Rain

11st 5lb

J: Danny Mullins

T: W P Mullins

raced in third, outpaced when dropped to rear home turn, soon no impression

20/1

3rd

4

29th Dec 2023

Heavy

2m 0f 0y

14:20 Leopardstown

Echoes In Rain

11st 5lb

J: Danny Mullins

T: W P Mullins

held up in rear, disputing third when not fluent 4th

9/1

Form: /121-3 D

Last run: 20 days

W: 11st 5lb

7 yo Mare

OR: 149

Form & Verdict

Ended her novice season by trouncing Love Envoi (her only defeat so far) in a Grade 1 at Fairyhouse (2m4f, yielding) last April; not seen again until shaping well in third behind Queens Brook (who received 9lb) in 2m4f Punchestown Grade 3 last month, looking a big threat until running wide off the home bend and fluffing the last; although her peak form has come on right-handed tracks she jumps out to her left on occasions and this return to a left-handed course may see her in an even better light; open to further progress.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

2nd

1

7th Jan 2024

Soft To Heavy

2m 4f 0y

12:30 Naas

Brandy Love

11st 7lb

J: Paul Townend

T: W P Mullins

visibility reduced by fog, raced in second, led before 6th, faced challenge before 2 out, headed when no extra after last, no match for winner

4/9

2nd

1

11th Nov 2023

Heavy

2m 0f 0y

11:50 Gowran Park

Brandy Love

11st 7lb

J: Paul Townend

T: W P Mullins

prominent, soon raced in third, went second before 6th, not fluent 4 out, keeping on when not fluent last, no match for winner

4/5

5th

2

29th Apr 2023

Good To Yielding

2m 3f 30y

15:50 Punchestown

Brandy Love

11st 7lb

J: Mr P W Mullins

T: W P Mullins

raced in second, lost second but prominent after 4th, edged left 4 out, switched left and went second after 3 out, jumped slightly left 2 out, soon switched right and pushed along, ridden home turn, soon weakened, dropped to rear when jumped left last

11/2

Form: 11-U31 C

Last run: 31 days

W: 11st 5lb

6 yo Filly

OR: 145

Form & Verdict

Won a Listed mares' novice event over the extended 2m4f here last April and has advanced her form again this winter, easily winning a Warwick mares' Listed race (2m5f, good) last month; has a bit to find on the figures but this improving 6yo, who was supplemented for this last week, has bigger performances in her.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

10

12th Mar 2024

Soft

2m 3f 200y

Class 1

16:10 Cheltenham

Theatre Glory

11st 5lb

J: James Bowen

T: Nicky Henderson

pressed leaders

100/1

5th

4

28th Jan 2024

Good

3m 0f 84y

Class 1

14:35 Doncaster

Theatre Glory

11st 6lb

J: Sam Twiston-Davies

T: Nicky Henderson

Useful at up to 2m5f and has Graded form; running respectably when final-flight faller in Cheltenham handicap most recently; some of her relatives have 3m form and she shapes accordingly; interesting upped in distance.

11/2

0

1

16th Dec 2023

Soft

2m 4f 56y

Class 2

15:35 Cheltenham

Theatre Glory

12st 0lb

J: Nico de Boinville

T: Nicky Henderson

Won here in April 2022 and creditable sixth of nine when 50-1 in the Grade 1 Mares' Hurdle here (2m4f, soft) this March; not disgraced on Ascot reappearance, despite being only third of five as favourite, but might not be well enough handicapped to win this.

5/1

Form: P11-11 CD

Last run: 72 days

W: 11st 5lb

8 yo Mare

OR: 153

Form & Verdict

Big improver last spring, seeing off Queens Brook in this race (good to soft) before accounting for stablemate Epatante (and seven others) in another Grade 1 at Punchestown (2m3f, good); looked even better again when reappearing with a ready win in the Relkeel here (extended 2m4f, soft) on New Year's Day; this is a better renewal than last year but she still holds every chance of following up.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

5th

8

11th Apr 2024

Soft

2m 4f 0y

Class 1

15:30 Aintree

Maries Rock

11st 3lb

J: Nico de Boinville

T: Nicky Henderson

She hasn't found her peak form this season and, with the yard under a cloud, she was pulled up at Cheltenham last month; it remains to be seen if her stable is back on song but she did win a mares' Grade 2 at Doncaster in January and a good case can be made on last season's best efforts, including her second in the Grade 1 Liverpool Hurdle here (3m, good to soft) last April; also effective on soft and over 2m4f; not discounted.

14/1

8

12th Mar 2024

Soft

2m 3f 200y

Class 1

16:10 Cheltenham

Maries Rock

11st 5lb

J: Nico de Boinville

T: Nicky Henderson

in touch with leaders

14/1

1st

1

28th Jan 2024

Good

3m 0f 84y

Class 1

14:35 Doncaster

Maries Rock

11st 8lb

J: James Bowen

T: Nicky Henderson

Ran respectably, albeit no match for rejuvenated Bob Olinger, at Cheltenham on New Year's Day when bidding for second Relkeel success; peak form, which includes Grade 1 wins, gives her leading claims.

7/4

Form: 1-3221 C

Last run: 45 days

W: 11st 5lb

9 yo Mare

OR: 153

Form & Verdict

Six-time Grade 1 winner over hurdles, including the 2020 Champion Hurdle; no match for superstar stablemate Constitution Hill in the Fighting Fifth or Christmas Hurdle at the end of 2022 but underlined what a class act she is among her own sex when hacking up in a 2m Grade 2 at Doncaster in January; has won a Grade 1 over this trip; major player.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

4th

4

29th Apr 2023

Good To Yielding

2m 3f 30y

15:50 Punchestown

Epatante

11st 7lb

J: Mark Walsh

T: Nicky Henderson

in rear but in touch with leaders, some headway on inner 2 out, pushed along when bit short of room home turn, soon outpaced and lost position when ridden, went fourth before last, no extra run-in

11/2

4th

6

13th Apr 2023

Good To Soft

2m 4f 0y

Class 1

15:30 Aintree

Epatante

11st 3lb

J: Aidan Coleman

T: Nicky Henderson

Didn't have to be at her best for Grade 2 mares' win at Doncaster in January and disappointing in the mares' hurdle at last month's Cheltenham Festival; however, she won this race last year (good to soft) and there's every chance she'll be best of the rest behind stablemate Constitution Hill, which was the case in the Fighting Fifth and the Christmas Hurdle this season.

12/1

8th

3

14th Mar 2023

Soft

2m 3f 200y

Class 1

16:10 Cheltenham

Epatante

11st 5lb

J: Aidan Coleman

T: Nicky Henderson

Six-time Grade 1 winner over hurdles, including the 2020 Champion Hurdle; no match for superstar stablemate Constitution Hill in the Fighting Fifth or Christmas Hurdle at the end of 2022 but underlined what a class act she is among her own sex when hacking up in a 2m Grade 2 at Doncaster in January; has won a Grade 1 over this trip; major player.

6/1

Form: 15P411 D

Last run: 75 days

W: 11st 5lb

8 yo Mare

OR: 148

Form & Verdict

Got firmly back on track with successive wins to end 2022, including when too strong for Queens Brook (albeit in receipt of 3lb) in a Leopardstown Grade 3 (2m4f, soft) over Christmas; will need a good bit more again if she's to extend that winning sequence to three, though.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

3rd

7

29th Apr 2023

Good To Yielding

2m 3f 30y

15:50 Punchestown

Shewearsitwell

11st 7lb

J: Sean O’Keeffe

T: W P Mullins

led, ridden and headed before last, soon no chance with winner, lost second but kept on run-in

12/1

9th

9

14th Mar 2023

Soft

2m 3f 200y

Class 1

16:10 Cheltenham

Shewearsitwell

11st 5lb

J: Danny Mullins

T: W P Mullins

Got firmly back on track with successive wins to end 2022, including when too strong for Queens Brook (albeit in receipt of 3lb) in a Leopardstown Grade 3 (2m4f, soft) over Christmas; will need a good bit more again if she's to extend that winning sequence to three, though.

25/1

1st

6

29th Dec 2022

Soft

2m 4f 0y

13:10 Leopardstown

Shewearsitwell

10st 11lb

J: Paul Townend

T: W P Mullins

in touch with leaders on outer, went second after 2 out (usual 3 out), pushed along to lead going best when switched right omitted last, stayed on, comfortably

6/4

Terms and conditions

*Odds displayed on this page are sourced directly from online bookmakers. Please check all details before placing your bet(s). 18+ only.

Non-runners

Midnight Ginger

+o+e Accumulators

Payout
Exacta £235.00
Straight Forecast £296.60
Tricast £3212.30
Trifecta £1937.00

Selections

RP Ratings:

Honeysuckle

TOPSPEED:

Epatante

WEST COUNTRY:

Love Envoi

POSTDATA:

Echoes In Rain

D Express:

Love Envoi

Daily Record:

Echoes In Rain

Telegraph:

Honeysuckle

The Star:

Honeysuckle

LAMBOURN:

Epatante

The Sun:

Epatante