The 2019 OLBG Mares’ Hurdle sets off at 16:10pm on Tuesday 12th March and is the fifth race on the card for day 1 at Cheltenham Festival 2019. Registered as The David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle, this is a Grade 1 Contest of 2 miles and 3 furlongs for horses aged 4 and upwards. Since it’s introduction back in 2008, Willie Mullins has dominated this race, winning all but 2 outings with Benie des Dieux his most recent victor to gain a remarkable 9 victories overall in this Mares’ Hurdle.
Tips, runners, riders and the odds: Let’s see where the real value lies…!
Plenty of favouritism early on for Apples Jade who is currently sitting at 10/11 to take this Mares’ Hurdle. Last season she finished 3rd in this race with just a length and a half in it to eventual winner Benie des Dieux. Apples Jade still has an entry in the Champion Hurdle but Gordon Elliot and connections have maintained that this race is the main target.
It will be interesting to see what will happen should Samcro be ruled out of the Champion Hurdle.
Be a little cautious with this one!
Willie Mullins’ shot at a 10-timer comes in the shape of Laurina, currently at odds of 5/4 in the markets. However, very similar to Gordon Elliot and Apples Jade, is entered to race against the boys in the Unibet Champion Hurdle Opening-up at 4/1, My OLBG Mares’ Hurdle Hot Tip is Benie des Dieux who looks to be the safest bet here.
After a long absence, there shouldn’t be too much concern given trainer Willie Mullins’ record with mares that have returned from long absences. Currently backed into 11/4.
FUN FACT: Willie Mullins won this race with the same horse, Quevaga, 6 times. From 2009 to 2014. Ruby Walsh is the leading Jockey having won the Mares’ Hurdle 8 times. At this early stage in the betting for this race, there is no signs of a Market Mover as such.
There seems to be a lot of each-way value available in the way of Stormy Ireland, currently priced at odds of 10/1. She wasn’t disgraced in a grade 3 at Limerick recently when finishing a respectable 2nd though it is interesting to see how she deals with this longer trip.
Should all entries run, this race is between the top 3 in the market right now – Apples Jade, Laurina and the selection Benie des Dieux.
Hot Tip: Benie des Dieux 11/4
Market Mover: None