16:10 Cheltenham Tue 12 March 2019
- OLBG Mares' Hurdle (Grade 1) (Registered As The David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle) (Class 1)
- 2m 3f 200y, Soft
- 14 Runners
- Surface: Turf
Fair handicapper, has found Laurina in her path in various attempts in graded company previously, as she did in Listed Punchestown race (2m4f, good to yielding) last month. That run gives her more than 6L to find on runner-up Stormy Ireland.
Unbeaten in five since joining Willie Mullins from France, she's equally at home over hurdles/fences. Beat a sub-par Apple's Jade to win this last year, then added Grade 1 at Punchestown. No prep run, but trainer has form for pulling this trick off.
Dual Listed winner in bumpers and scored in that grade at Haydock (2m3f, heavy) as a novice last term. Last sighted following home Laurina (beaten 18L) here last March, she'll require plenty more to hold similar aspirations but is interesting.
Lightly-raced Fairyhouse maiden hurdle winner (2m, heavy) in February 2018, she ran a stormer to be third (80-1) in Mares' Novice here a year ago, leaving her closely matched with Cap Soleil. Hasn't raced since however and this looks much tougher.
Bought for €310,000 having won in France and twice placed in Grade 3 company, she gave Good Thyne Tara a proper race at Christmas around Leopardstown (2m4f, good to yielding) with favourite Limini 5½L back in third. A potential improver here.
She beat a few of these to win a Leopardstown Grade 3 (2m4f, good to yielding) at Christmas and perhaps paid price of going toe-to-toe with Laurina since at Punchestown. Plenty to prove with stablemate Stormy Ireland on previous form.
Consistent and versatile performer, ended a run of four runner-up finishes (three over fences) when posting career-best to win Listed Haydock hurdles event (2m3f, good to soft). Won't be found wanting for stamina late and may have place claims.
Enjoyed fine time of it as a novice last season, winning three times and runner-up in Grade 1 behind Laurina over this trip on testing going. Hasn't improved this season though and recent runs give her plenty to find against some of these rivals.
As tough as teak; has cemented her position as the star at Phil Kirby's fast-emerging Catterick yard with a hat-trick (hurdles & fences) since landing the 2m Listed Mares' Hurdle at Wetherby (good) in November; now faces a much tougher task.
Novice winner at 2016 Festival, mixed in good company since, including a win over Apple's Jade in February 2017 before going close (third) in this race. Unconvincing lately, she issued timely reminder when 2¼L behind Presenting Percy over 3m latest.
High class novice won three of first four (including soft-ground C&D win) before finishing third to Black Op in Aintree Grade 1 last April. Had wind operation in the off-season and has failed to complete in both starts since over 3m.
Rounded off by finishing an excellent second to Santini in the Grade 1 Sefton Hurdle at Aintree over 3m½f (soft). Hard to quantify reappearance third in Contenders Hurdle (2m, soft, heavy in places) as Buveur D'Air was toying with his prey.
Has some highly respectable form to her name but seems to have lost her way of late. Beat three of these when third at Punchestown over this trip last time, though was 6L off runner-up Stormy Ireland on better terms that afternoon, opposable.
French import had early hiccups but has got her act together. Easily beat stablemate Good Thyne Tara to win 2m2f good-ground Listed contest at Punchestown in November. Second to Espoir D'allen and Laurina since, doing nothing wrong, solid contender.
Last Year's Winner
|Benie Des Dieux||7||11-5||9/2|
|T: W P MullinsJ: R Walsh|
Benie Des Dieux (10/11), Stormy Ireland (7/1), Limini (9/1), Roksana (10/1), Lady Buttons (12/1), Elimay (16/1), Cap Soleil (20/1), Momella (20/1), Mia's Storm (20/1), Good Thyne Tara (25/1), Jester Jet (25/1), Slowmotion (50/1), Alletrix (50/1), Lackaneen Leader (50/1), Champayne Lady (100/1)
- Benie Des Dieux
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