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Mares' Novices' Hurdle

16:50 Cheltenham Festival

2022-03-17

Winner: £59083.5

Runners: 19

Going: Soft

No. of hurdles: 8

Distance: 2m0f179y

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The National Hunt Supported By Tattersalls Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle, also known as the Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle, is one of the newest races at the Cheltenham Festival, having first been staged in 2016. It is run on the third day of the festival and has been dominated so far by Willie Mullins, who has trained all five winners. Check the Mares Novices Hurdle runners and riders ahead of the race and place your bets by clicking the odds buttons.

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9(0)
145
silk
Braganza

-

J: Sean O'Keeffe
T: W P Mullins
7
11-2
-
131
Flat bred; debut was on Flat in 2017 but she did not race again until November last year; won that race in a 2m maiden hurdle at Thurles and has shown better form in her two starts since, but was well held behind Brandy Love in Grade 3 last time; unraced on worse than good to yielding.
4(0)
P-1116
silk
Statuaire

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J: Danny Mullins
T: W P Mullins
7
11-7
139
140
Two major layoffs but won first three Irish races (first was on yielding to soft) last year, culminating in Grade 1 Royal Bond against the males at Fairyhouse (2m, good) in November when she quickened up best to lead on the post; races very freely and was tried in a hood (retained today) in Grade 1 last month, but did not fire; each-way shout if bouncing back.
8(0)
26-223
silk
Ahorsewithnoname

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J: Nico de Boinville
T: Nicky Henderson
7
11-2
121
134
Around since 2018 and won a bumper and two Flat races, one on soft; 0-5 (three seconds) over hurdles switched to this top yard, with fairly useful form on two occasions but not on latest and she needs marked overall improvement.
17(0)
4243-U
silk
Mighty Blue

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J: J J Slevin
T: Joseph Patrick O'Brien
6
11-2
-
147
Very useful at her best in 17-race Flat career, including 1m6f Listed win last May; the pick of four runs over hurdles last season was her third of 15 in this race (good to soft) when coming through from rear pretty smoothly; looked held in second when unseating at the last on last month's return to hurdling, below the Cheltenham form, but she has to be considered.
5(0)
-21422
silk
Choice Of Words

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J: Darragh O'Keeffe
T: Martin Brassil
7
11-5
132
135
Second to Grangee in Grade 3 for final bumper; flopped on second hurdle start but otherwise pretty useful from the word go in this sphere, making all on first attempt (2m) and chasing home Journey With Me at Naas (2m3f) latest; needs extra; drops back in trip but goes well on soft/heavy.
14(0)
1580
silk
Hidden Land

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J: Sam Twiston-Davies
T: Andrew Kinirons
5
11-2
120
120
Flat bred and she's an experienced, fair performer in that sphere (stays 1m4f) who won in February but was well beaten 13 days ago; her four hurdle starts came last July-December, winning on first occasion, but none of her hurdles form makes her a serious player; below form on soft in Ireland.
NR(0)
13-12
silk
Brandy Love

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T: W P Mullins
6
11-2
-
145
Easy winner of a point and bumper before third in the mud to Grangee and Party Central in Grade 2 bumper last February; 4-5, raced rather freely and made most when scoring easily in 24-runner maiden at Naas (2m, yielding) in December; jumped violently to her left when making most at right-handed Fairyhouse (2m2f, good to yielding) in January, which threw the race away and it was quite something that she finished second; granted a more straightforward demeanour going left-handed here she should be a serious player.
NR(0)
212232
silk
Say Goodbye

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T: Gordon Elliott
6
11-2
133
142
Sister to The Big Breakaway and half-sister to Kildisart, both smart; sole win over hurdles (seven attempts) was a Bellewstown maiden in July; a rising force since, though, bar one blip on heavy; came from a bit further back than Party Central when runner-up to her at levels in mares' handicap at Leopardstown (near 2m2f, yielding) last time, in a strongly run race but impressing with strength at the finish; could provide a telling late challenge.
3(0)
1-1411
silk
Party Central

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J: Jack Kennedy
T: Gordon Elliott
6
11-7
141
143
Did well in bumpers and 3-4 as a hurdler (one blip behind Impervious on soft); first two hurdle wins were at 2m4f and 2m3f but she looked well suited by a strongly run race over an extended 2m1f in useful mares' handicap at Leopardstown (yielding) on latest outing, coming smoothly from off pace to beat Say Goodbye by just under 2l at level weights; serious contender.
16(0)
3-4413
silk
Mayhem Mya

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J: Bryan Carver
T: Chris Honour
5
11-2
117
131
Won two bumpers before coming up short when her sights were raised; long odds-on when winning easily at Chepstow (2m, soft) on her second start over hurdles; third at Lingfield (heavy) on latest was better form, but behind two of these and this race will demand a lot more; tongue tied first time.
12(0)
6-114F
silk
Grangee

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J: Paul Townend
T: W P Mullins
6
11-2
-
143
Sixth in 2021 Champion Bumper here (earlier won bumpers in the mud); looked good straightaway over hurdles, winning a maiden at Fairyhouse and fourth of six against males in Grade 1 at Leopardstown at Christmas; arguably working her way into serious contention when she fell two out in Grade 3 at Fairyhouse (2m2f) last time, when the wayward Brandy Love was second; considered.
21(0)
1-151
silk
The Player Queen

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J: Craig Nichol
T: Rose Dobbin
6
11-2
117
127
Won a point, bumper (2m1f) and Ayr maiden hurdle (2m4f) on first three starts; put a flop behind her to score by short head at Musselburgh (1m7f, soft) but, although retaining potential, this looks a stiff task.
6(0)
111F23
silk
Nina The Terrier

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J: Tom Bellamy
T: Alan King
6
11-5
130
135
Relinquished her unbeaten record over hurdles (had been 3-3) when falling at the final flight at Newbury in November, close up at the time; has run respectably on soft/heavy for minor honours in two six-runner races since but a return to better ground might suit; this race is harder still.
1(0)
1115
silk
Impervious

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J: Brian Hayes
T: C A Murphy
6
11-7
139
139
Won over hurdles at Cork and Listowel first two outings; dropped to 2m1f for Grade 3 at Down Royal (soft) and found plenty for pressure to assert by 5l; not disgraced behind Statuaire and the males in Grade 1 Royal Bond at Fairyhouse (2m, good) in November, but not seen since due to a "small setback"; all is reported well with her now and she brings each-way hopes.
7(0)
36-416
silk
Tweed Skirt

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J: James Bowen
T: Nicky Henderson
5
11-5
119
122
Came up short in Listed and Grade 2 bumpers last spring; made all in three-runner novice at Ascot (near 2m, good) in November but disappointing either side of that, particularly on latest and she had wind surgery soon afterwards; from a top yard but needs to show something very new.
2(0)
1-1111
silk
Love Envoi

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J: Jonathan Burke
T: Harry Fry
6
11-7
135
140
Wexford bumper winner who has flourished in mares' novice hurdles in Britain, winning four from four (first on good to soft, last three on heavy); kept Nurse Susan at bay in clearcut fashion at Lingfield (2m) in January and her other hurdling wins were over 2m4f-2m5f, having to scrap it out in Grade 2 at Sandown last time; recent rain should be a big help and she brings the best of the British form.
NR(0)
8213
silk
Walk In Clover

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T: Dan Skelton
5
11-2
115
125
Runner-up on her third run in maiden points last spring; joined Dan Skelton after second hurdle start and won a four-runner novice at Leicester (2m, soft) with any amount in hand, but she was put in her place when 8-11 at Taunton (near 2m, good to soft) two weeks later; seriously up against it.
18(0)
081243
silk
Monishter Are Mwee

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J: Ian Power
T: Mrs Jayne Hearne
6
11-2
123
131
0-5 in bumpers; hooded on last four of five starts over hurdles, 33-1 winner of a maiden at Clonmel (2m, heavy) on first occasion; better form for minor honours at 2m2f/3m on her three outings since, including on good to yielding, but a leading role in this race would be another surprise.
19(0)
112
silk
Nurse Susan

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J: Harry Skelton
T: Dan Skelton
5
11-2
124
138
Impressive in a Carlisle maiden (2m1f) on debut in November and she readily swept aside a high-profile recruit from the Flat at Leicester (1m7f) in December, both on good to soft; looks promising but never got on terms with Love Envoi when second at Lingfield (2m, heavy) last time.
15(0)
52-21
silk
Hors Piste

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J: B J Cooper
T: W P Mullins
5
11-2
-
139
Ran twice over hurdles in France last January; not seen again until New Year's Day when short-headed over 2m5f at Tramore, rallying in a right slog, and she obliged with zero fuss by 16l when 8-13 at Clonmel (2m3f) in another maiden four weeks ago; all four starts have been on heavy; promising and largely an unknown quantity, one of seven runners for this race's top trainer.
13(0)
1-41
silk
Heia

-

J: Rachael Blackmore
T: W P Mullins
5
11-2
-
137
Won 1m4f bumper in 2020 on her only start in France; next seen at Leopardstown in December and she was greatly improved when smoothly justifying 11-10 favouritism by 5l in 15-runner maiden at Fairyhouse (2m, soft) five weeks ago, always front rank and going on two out; has not been tested as seriously as many of these but she looks very promising.
11(0)
1
silk
Dinoblue

-

J: Mark Walsh
T: W P Mullins
5
11-2
-
148
Half-sister to the very useful jumper and 2019 Champion Bumper runner-up Blue Sari; evens when winning 13-runner maiden hurdle at Clonmel (2m1f, heavy) in January, impressing with her jumping and surging 15l clear from two out; the second and third have looked pretty useful since; after just one start, she looks a major talent.

RACING POST TIP

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silk
Say Goodbye
Willie Mullins lost out last year but he had previously won the first five runnings of this race, with hot favourites on the first three occasions and with his shortest-priced runner in 2020, but he had 50-1 and 66-1 shots separated by a short head up front in 2019. That's one way of saying that all of his seven declarations this time round need a close look, even though it's Dinoblue and Brandy Love who head the betting for him. Statuaire, for one, also looks interesting. However, Gordon Elliott's pair Party Central and SAY GOODBYE may prove the overall pick, with the latter an appealing each-way option given the strong finish she produced behind her stablemate last time. She's not far off the top-rated runners as it is, and may well be seen to very good effect at this track. Love Envoi has done well on heavy ground in Britain.

Verdict

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MARES NOVICES HURDLE PREVIOUS WINNERS

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MARES NOVICES HURDLE KEY TRENDS AND STATS

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WHAT HAPPENED LAST YEAR - MARES NOVICES HURDLE 2021

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