Mares Novices Hurdle Tips - 4:15pm Cheltenham

The Daylesford Mare’s Novice’ Hurdle is the youngest race at the Festival (bar this year’s newbie the Mares Chase obviously), run over 2 mile 179 yards of the new course. The race has only been run five times and Willie Mullins has won all five renewals with Limini, Let’s Dance, Laurina, Eglantine Du Seuil and Concertista. The first three went off well backed skinny priced favourite whilst Eglantine Du Seuil went off the 50/1 outsider of seven of Mullin’s entries. Last year’s winner was second favourite.

Obviously the first place to start then has to be with the master of Closutton, Willie Mullins and his likely runners. Gauloise was a tad disappointing in the Solerina Mares Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse in early February finishing third to Rosey’s Hollow and Royal Kahala and would need to improve to get past that pair here. Hook Up is maybe the most likely winner of Mullin’s at this stage as she ran a race full of promise to finish 4th behind Supreme Novice Hurdle fancied runners Appreciate It And Ballyadam at the Dublin Racing Festival. She had previously though been put in her place by Royal Kahala at Fairyhouse who beat her 5 lengths giving her 2lb. No doubt Mullin’s will have others on the day but at present they look the principle pair. Glens of Antrim is another Willie Mullins entry and has been backed ante-post for this. Owned by JP McManus she's still a maiden and this maybe a step too far too early for her.

Peter Fahy’s Royal Kahala was very impressive when beating Hook Up at Fairyhouse in January but couldn’t cope with Rosey’s Hollow in the Solerina Mares Novice Hurdle at the track a month later though she will be 4lb better off for the 2 lengths she was beaten by there. She’ only raced at Fairyhouse in her short hurdling career and like many here will have no experience of the Cheltenham track.

Jonathan Sweeney is only a small trainer based in Kildinan, Co. Cork but has won with 19 of his 64 runners over the last 5 years at a very respectable 19%. Leading owner JP McManus has bought his stable star, the seven year old Rosey’s Hollow who improved to take the aforementioned grade 3 Solerina Mares Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse from Royal Kahala (Gauloise back in 3rd). That’s probably the most significant piece of form regarding this contest and she looks sure to be thereabouts.

Joseph O ‘Brien trains Mighty Blue for the Capel Street Syndicate and has form behind some of the leading principals here but will need to find some improvement from somewhere to be competitive.

Another Irish challenger worth her place is John Joseph Hanlon’s Skyace who beat Queens Brook back in October giving her weight and was an easy winner at Punchestown in listed company since. She’s not been seen since early December mind.

The British don’t have a particularly good record in this race and their best chance may lie with the Alan King trained The Glancing Queen, a useful bumper performer who has taken well to hurdling but she could only finish second in her prep race on deep ground at Exeter. She has place claims.

It will be a shock if this race doesn’t go back over the Irish Sea though there doesn’t appear to be a great deal between their major contenders with Royal Kahala taken to turn the form around with Rosey’s Hollow and break the Willie Mullins strangle hold on the race.

Punters Lounge Tip: Royal Kahala EW @ 7/1 at bet365 - Click Here To Bet

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