Mares Hurdle

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The Mares Hurdle is a Grade 1 race for four-year-old mares and upwards over two and a half miles. It was introduced to the Cheltenham Festival in 2008 and was originally known as the David Nicholson Mares Hurdle.

The Mares Hurdle will run on the 12th of March 2024.

The inaugural running was won by Whiteoak, trained in England by Donald McCain Jnr. Incredibly the next six renewals were all won by Quevega, trained by Willie Mullins and ridden by Ruby Walsh. She surpassed the previous record of five consecutive Cheltenham Festival victories set by Golden Miller (1932-1936).

Mullins extended his monopoly of the race to eight seasons before Apple’s Jade won for Gordon Elliott in 2017.

Benie Des Dieux made it nine for Mullins in 2018 but the most famous winner to date has to be Honeysuckle in 2020. She went on to win the Champion Hurdle the following season for Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore.

Find out more about the Mares Hurdles:

Mares Hurdle

Race Overview – The Cheltenham Mares Hurdle

The Mares Hurdle, previously known as the David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle and now the Close Brothers Mares Hurdle, is a relatively new but hugely popular race at the Cheltenham Festival, it is a Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race.

It is run over a distance of around 2 miles and 4 furlongs on the Old Course at Cheltenham, and there are ten hurdles to take during the race.

Mares Hurdle 2024 Odds

The odds for this race will be published nearer the date of the race.

Mares Hurdle Tips 2024

Our teams will release the tips in due course.

Many Mares Hurdle horses will race in more races throughout the years. Stay updated on the horses and place ante-post bets if you want to wager on them.

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Famous Mares Hurdle Winners (Close Brothers Mares Hurdle)

Quevega will forever be associated with this race after her record-breaking six consecutive victories. Her success was even more remarkable for the fact that she rarely raced between jump racing festivals, running almost exclusively at Cheltenham and Punchestown.

A feature of her Cheltenham successes was the ease with which she moved through the field to challenge before the last flight. It became a tradition at Cheltenham to cheer Quevega to victory in the Mares Hurdle, a race in which she started favourite on all six occasions. She was eventually retired to the paddocks after being beaten by Jetson when attempting a fifth consecutive win in the World Series Hurdle at Punchestown in 2014.

Glens Melody was a fortuitous winner in 2015 in a race which will be remembered for the last flight fall of hot favourite Annie Power. Ruby Walsh had set sail for home and looked certain to chalk up a fourth win on the day for the Mullins stable after Douvan, Un De Sceaux and Faugheen had all won comfortably. Annie Power would go on to make amends in the Champion Hurdle the following year.

History repeated itself in 2019 when Benie Des Dieux, again representing Mullins and Walsh, crashed at the last to present victory to Roksana. Benie Des Dieux had won the race the year before and would end her career in this race in 2020. Her market rival was none other than subsequent Champion Hurdle winner Honeysuckle who got the better of a terrific duel to win by half a length


Mares Hurdle Previous Winners

Here are the previous winners for the Mares Hurdle.

2013Quevega9Ruby WalshWillie Mullins
2014Quevega10Ruby WalshWillie Mullins
2015Glens Melody7Paul TownendWillie Mullins
2016Vroum Vroum Mag7Ruby WalshWillie Mullins
2017Apple’s Jade5Bryan CooperGordon Elliott
2018Benie Des Dieux7Ruby WalshWillie Mullins
2019Roksana7Harry SkeltonDan Skelton
2020Honeysuckle6Rachael BlackmoreHenry de Bromhead
2021Black Tears7Jack KennedyDenise Foster
2022Marie’s Rock7Nico de BoinvilleNicky Henderson
2023Honeysuckle9Rachael BlackmoreHenry de Bromhead

Mares Hurdle Previous Result

Check out the latest result from this race:

Key Close Brothers Mares Hurdle Trials

Statistics on trial races are a bit patchy because of the unusual nature of Quevega who would often come here after almost a year off the track.

Glens Melody had won the Listed Mares Hurdle at Warwick prior to winning here and Benie Des Dieux had won a similar event at Naas.

Honeysuckle prepared for this race in none other than the Irish Champion Hurdle! She beat Darver Star by half a length but her owners resisted the temptation to run in the 2020 Champion. Darver Star finished third to Epatante so Honeysuckle would have been placed at the very least.

Quevega started favourite for all six of her victories but only Vroum Vroum Mag has been a winning favourite since. In fact, you could be forgiven for thinking there was something of a jinx at work with the heavily-backed Annie Power and Benie Des Dieux both crashing out at the last hurdle.

Having said that, only 10-1 chance Roksana was outside the first three in the betting.

The longest-priced winner in Mares Hurdle history was Whiteoak at 20-1 in the inaugural running in 2008.

Since Quevega’s sixth and final victory in 2014, five seven-year-olds have been successful.

Apple’s Jade (2017) was the third five-year-old to win but the first since Quevega’s first victory in 2009.

Eleven of the last twelve winners had at least three previous wins over hurdles including at least one in a Grade 1 to 3 race.

An official rating of 147 or higher is usually required to win the Mares Hurdle, only Roksana (142) falling below that figure in the same period.

Punchestown has been the next target for winners of this race with Quevega (four times), Vroum Vroum Mag, Apple’s Jade and Benie Des Dieux all enjoying further success at the April festival meeting.

Mares Hurdle – Top Trainers and Jockeys

The incredible run of six victories for Quevega means it is impossible to look beyond Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh in this race.

Mullins has of course gone on to win the race on a further three occasions to take his tally to nine, courtesy of Glens Melody, Vroum Vroum Mag and Benie Des Dieux. Walsh has one less because of Annie Power’s fall.

It has been very difficult for anyone else to get a look in, although Gordon Elliott did win with Apple’s Jade (2017) and certainly had plenty of input in the success of Black Tears (2021). The latter was credited to Denise Foster while Elliott was serving his suspension.

British trainers have only managed two victories since the race was created; Whiteoak (2008) and Roksana (2019).

Betting on the Mares Hurdle

The Mares Hurdle has quite a strong ante-post betting market, despite not being one of the feature races at the Cheltenham festival. Runners from the Christmas Hurdle often fare well.

Quevega’s presence provided added interest, particularly for multiple bets on the Mullins-trained runners. That trend has continued with the likes of Vroum Vroum Mag and Benie Des Dieux and the latter’s duel with Honeysuckle in 2020 also attracted plenty of betting turnover.

Bookmakers have started offering “non-runner – no bet” on the Mares Hurdle during the run-up to the Cheltenham Festival in recent years.

Popular Questions

What distance is the Mares Hurdle?

The Mares Hurdle is 2 miles, 3 furlongs and 200 yards long.

How many hurdle are there in the Mares Hurdle?

There is a total of 10 hurdles to be jumped in the Mares Hurdle.

What are the betting trends for the david nicholson mares hurdle

Mares Hurdle Facts

  • The Mares Hurdle is a National Hunt hurdle race in Great Britain which is open to mares aged four years or above.
  • It is run on the New Course at Cheltenham over a distance of 2 miles and 4 furlongs (4,023 metres), and during its running there are ten hurdles to be jumped.
  • The race is for female horses only and was first run in 2008.

Summary of The Mares Hurdle

The Mares Hurdle is a relatively new addition.

It’s been made famous by the super-mare Quevega who dominated in the early days, cementing herself as a Cheltenham legend.

It is a popular race with punters, although fortunes have been mixed over the years with a few unlucky stories.

Brandy Love will be a tough nut to crack this year.

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