The Mares Hurdle struggles to stand up against the likes of the Arkle Challenge Trophy and the Champion Hurdle but it is still a Grade One race at the Cheltenham Festival.
There are 10 fences to be jumped over the two miles and four furlongs trip and it could be one of the most competitive races at the meeting.
First held in 2008, the legendary Quevega won six successive renewals between 2009 and 2014 and Willie Mullins is likely to have a strong hand in this year’s race.
It isn’t the most prestigious race on Day One but it certainly deserves plenty of respect.
Mares Hurdle Trends & Statistics
With 12 previous renewals to assess, trends for the Mares Hurdle are relatively simple. Here are our favourite statistics and trends ahead of the 2020 Cheltenham Festival:
- All 12 winners went off no bigger than 12/1 in horse racing betting odds.
- 12 out of 12 had finished every race prior to Cheltenham.
- 12/12 had won at least one of their last three starts.
- 12 out of 12 winners had been bred outside of Great Britain.
- 12/12 winners did NOT run in a handicap last time out.
- 11 out of 12 had an overall rating of 140 or higher.
- 11/12 winners had placed in a Grade 2 race or better.
- 11 out of 12 winners had two or more wins with that jockey partnership.
- 11/12 had previously won over two miles four furlongs or further.
- 11/12 winners’ last win was NOT in a handicap.
Top Trainers For The Mares Hurdle
Willie Mullins and the Mares Hurdle go hand-in-hand. The legendary Irishman has trained nine winners of this race, with the great Quevega notching six of those.
In recent times, the likes of Vroum Vroum Mag and Benie Des Dieux have claimed Grade One glory in this race and the latter will be tough to beat in 2020.
The Dan Skelton-trained Roksana benefited from Benie Des Dieux’s fall at the final hurdle last year but punters will be expecting the Mullins stable star to reverse the form. A mouth-watering clash with Honeysuckle awaits at Cheltenham.
Mares Hurdle 2020: Prize Money
The 2019 Mares Hurdle was worth approximately £120,000 so we can assume this season’s renewal will be a similar figure. Willie Mullins will be hoping that popular mare Benie Des Dieux can avenge her final fence fall from last year.
Trial Races To Follow Ahead Of The Mares Hurdle
Unusually, the Mares Hurdle itself has acted as a trial race for the following year.
With a few repeat winners over the years, the Mares Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival is hard to judge at times but previous form over course and distance is crucial. Benie Des Dieux, Roksana and Apple’s Jade certainly tick that particular box.
The World Hurdle at April’s Punchestown Festival has been something of an indicator but it would be foolish to read too much into that.
Quevega’s record in the Mares Hurdle skews almost any trend in terms of trial races and perhaps the most important fact of all is this: never back against Mullins in the Mares Hurdle.
2020 Mares Hurdle Betting
888sport are Non-Runner No Bet on the Mares Hurdle ahead of this year’s Cheltenham Festival. Scroll down to check out the latest ante post betting odds on the race:
- Benie Des Dieux – 4/5
- Honeysuckle – 5/4
- Laurina – 6/1
- Apple’s Jade – 7/1
- Stormy Ireland – 7/1
- Roksana – 8/1
- Magic Of Light – 10/1
- Lady Buttons – 16/1
- Bar – 14/1
Cheltenham Festival 2020: Mares Hurdle Tips
What a race we have in store if Benie Des Dieux and Honeysuckle both turn up – the Mares Hurdle could turn out to be one of the highlights of the week.
For all the best 2020 Cheltenham Festival tips, previews and betting news, 888sport is the place to be. Good luck with all of your Mares Hurdle punts!
*Credit for the main photo belongs to Darron Cummings / AP Photo*