The Mares Hurdle has become one of the most popular races at the Cheltenham Festival in recent years, and ever since Willie Mullins won the race back in 2009 with Quevega, no other trainer has been able to wrench the title from the claws of the Irish Champion trainer.
Vroum Vroum Mag powered home to victory in the race last year, and if the rumours and the race cards are anything to go by, she’s back for another crack at the race this year. She is currently 7/4 in the betting and if her last few races have been anything to go by that’s rather enticing odds.
Her last outing at Doncaster looked extremely hard work, and for a split second we thought she might be defeated by Midnight Jazz, however, she rallied gamely in the closing stages to see off her rival by a head. Stats are in her favour, however, with her winning her last outing and having won a Grade One previously, so she could surprise us yet and pick up the win.
If you’re looking to avoid Vroum Vroum Mag, Willie Mullins still has plenty of runners in this race, and one of those is market leader Limini. Another winner at the Festival last year in the mares novice hurdle, she looks to be worth her current price of 11/10, something we expect to see go even shorter if she is confirmed for the race.
Winning her last outing at Punchestown just over three weeks ago, she defeated the heavily fancied Apple Jade which is never an easy task. She has followed the same format as she did last season in her build up to the Festival with only one seasonal reappearance, a tactic Mullins uses with a lot of his Festival runners. But, from that, we get the feeling she may be a spring horse, so if she gets the better ground, she could certainly oust her stable companion.
Arlie Beach is another one of Willie Mullins horses that could potentially do the business here at Cheltenham, and if her stable companions are going to this race, then she may get diverted somewhere else given her current form. With six successive victories to her name heading into the Festival, including a Grade One win over Saturnas at Fairyhouse in December, she certainly looks one to consider for the each-way market given her current price of 12/1.
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