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Mares' Hurdle Trends For The 2024 Cheltenham Festival

Jessica Lamb for Bookies.com

Jessica Lamb  | 11 mins

Mares' Hurdle Trends For The 2024 Cheltenham Festival

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2024 Cheltenham Mares' Hurdle Trends

Need some help finding the winner of the 2024 edition of the Cheltenham Festival Mares’ Hurdle? Well, look no further because our team of experts at Bookies.com have done the hard work for you by pinpointing the most critical trends and pointers from the last 10 renewals in order to help you find the winner of this Grade 1 contest.

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The last 10 winners:

  • Rated 140 or higher.
  • At least 4 starts over hurdles; seven winners had more than 9.
  • At least 2 wins over hurdles
  • Had won over 2m4f before
  • At least two wins on a galloping track

Nine of the last 10 winners:

  • Were not bred in Britain (exception Black Tears)
  • Won at a left handed track (Vroum Vroum Mag)
  • Had run at least six times over hurdles (Vroum Vroum Mag ran four times)
  • Last ran in a hurdle race (Benie Des Dieux)

Eight of the last 10 winners:

  • Had won a Graded race before (exceptions Marie's Rock and Benie Des Dieux)
  • Trained in Ireland (Roksana and Marie's Rock)

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Key Trials from the last 10 years

  • The Warwick Mares' Hurdle in February has thrown up two winners (Glens Melody and Marie's Rock) and four places in the last 10 years.
  • The Warfield Mares’ Hurdle at Ascot is another good quality mares’ race that has thrown up a winner in the last 10 years (Vroum Vroum Mag).
  • The Quevega Mares Hurdle at Punchestown was used as a springboard for winners Apple's Jade and Black Tears, and last year's second Queens Brook.
  • The Grade 3 Mares’ Hurdle run at Leopardstown over Christmas - and the Cheltenham Mares' Hurdle - has been dominated by Willie Mullins in recent years. His charge Shewearsitwell fell in 2021, but made amends in 2022, beating 8/13 favourite Queens Brook.
  • The winner of the Mares' Novices' Hurdle at the Festival has yet to graduate to Mares' Hurdle winner, but Limini went on to finish third, and the 2021 winner Black Tears had finished fourth in the novice event.

Trainer Trends

  • Willie Mullins has dominated this race since its inception in 2008, training nine winners and also having 15 placed-runners.
  • Nicky Henderson (2022), Denise Foster (2021), Henry De Bromhead (2020), Dan Skelton (2019), Gordon Elliott (2017), and Donald McCain (2008) have trained the other five winners. Elliott has saddled four runners and one winner, with last year's heroine coming from his stable too, while temporarily trained by Foster.
  • Irish trainers have saddled 12 of the race's 15 winners

Jockey Trends

  • Given the record of Willie Mullins in this race, it goes without saying that his stable number one, Paul Townend, will have a great chance.
  • Harry Skelton is another jockey worth noting with a winner (Roksana in 2019) and two places from five rides in the race.

How did the trends do last year?

Marie's Rock ticked all the key trends, and had won a key trial, but it was a negative that she was trained outside Ireland by Nicky Henderson.

Second Queens Brook had not won left-handed and lacked a Graded win, while third Mrs Milner had won the 3m Pertemps Handicap Hurdle at the previous year's Cheltenham Festival, and seemed suited to longer trips, with no win over 2m4f.

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Who Fits The Trends Best In 2024?

It’s understandable that Triumph Hurdle winner Lossiemouth heads the betting as a multiple Grade 1 winner, almost unbeaten over hurdles, but trainer Willie Mullins’s strangehold on this race is no more and she does not hit one key trend; she has not won over 2m4f.

Having never tried that distance, there’s nothing to say she cannot win over it, and she is a prime candidate to buck that trend, but that still doesn’t mean she fits the trends.

A much stronger pick on trends is stablemate Ashroe Diamond, winner of a Grade 2 at Doncaster last time, and successful over 2m4f in a Grade 1 at Fairyhouse last April. She ticks every trends box.

Love Envoi and Marie’s Rock also tick a lot of key trends boxes, while West Balboa could surprise some.

2023 Mares' Hurdle Result

Position Name Price Trainer Jockey
1st Honeysuckle 9/4j Henry De Bromhead Rachael Blackmore
2nd Love Envoi 11/1 Harry Fry Jonathan Burke
3rd Queens Brook 16/1 Gordon Elliott Davy Russell

About the Author

Jessica Lamb is a multi-media journalist who specializes in horse racing, cycling and sports betting and has worked on desks at the Racing Post and Irish Sun newspapers.