Mares Hurdle betting tips and predictions for day 1 of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival including a win and each-way tip for the 4.10pm race on Tuesday 15th March.
The Mares Hurdle is the final Grade 1 on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival. Last year, punters were heartbroken when Annie Power fell at the final fence when well clear of the field and they'll be hoping to take revenge on bookmakers this time around, our Cheltenham tipster has got two bets.
Mares Hurdle Predictions – 4.10pm Cheltenham.
With Annie Power running in the Champion Hurdle, VROUM VROUM MAG looks to be Willie Mullin's main protagonist in the race. The daughter-of-Voix Du Nord was thought of as a viable Ryanair Chase contender at the start of the season and it is somewhat surprising connections have switched her to small obstacles. Nonetheless, she's a classy mare who looks head and shoulder above her rivals in the 2016 Mares Hurdle. She came over for the Grade 2 Warfield Mares' Hurdle in January and dispatched the field, winning by three-and-a-half lengths with Ruby Walsh only having to give his mount a shake of the reigns to win readily. Her betting odds of 11/10 represent her chances in the race and that could still be a good bet is she is as good as we think she is.
Polly Peachum is the second favourite for the race and benefited from Annie Power's fall last year to take the runners-up spoils in the race. Nicky Henderson's daughter-of-Shantou is as honest as they come and won the Listed Select Hurdle at Sandown against the boys in her final start of last season. Polly Peachum needed the run in her first start of the campaign at Kempton and came on leaps and bounds for the run, and won a Listed Mares' Hurdle in January when carrying top weight. Now eight-year-old, she looks to be maturing and Henderson will no doubt have her spot on for this, but sis she good enough to beat Vroum Vroum Mag?
AURORE D’ESTRUVAL is a lightly-race six-year-old who has a very likeable attitude and one to note in our Mares Hurdle tips for day 1 at Cheltenham. The daughter of Nickname was a game 10-length winner in a Listed Mares' contest at Wetherby in 2014 and then pushed the 160-rated Irving to the limit in the Grade 1 Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle, before winning at Sandown. She was off the track for just under a year before making her reappearance in the Grade 2 Relkeel Hurdle at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day but could not lay a glove on winner Camping Ground and finished fourth. She also beat just one home behind Vroum Vroum Mag last time out; however, she was stepping up to three miles for the first time on soft ground and she was clearly not suited by the task that opposed her. Back on decent ground over two-and-a-half miles, she should improve plenty and looks capable of finishing in the places for an each-way tip.
Another horse that was no match for Vroum Vroum Mag at Ascot was The Govaness. Richard Newland's mare is, however, twice a course winner which were both on good ground. She has form to reverse with the likes of Mullins' star, as well as Polly Peachum from Sandown and this may be just slightly above her limits.
One horse who may be overpriced in the Mares Hurdle betting odds is Stephanie Frances. She could not take to fences whatsoever but does have a win at Cheltenham on her record. She pushed Champion Hurdle contender The New One to his limits at Kempton at the start of the season and, if she can produce a similar performance, she'll be right in the mix.
Vroum Vroum Mag looks a near certainty for this but if Aurore D'estruval bounces back to her best, she could well chase Mullins' hotpot home. At the prices, Stephanie Frances also looks tempting.
Mares Hurdle Betting Tips
Vroum Vroum Mag to win – get the best odds 11/10 at William Hill.
Aurore D’estruval each-way – get the best odds 14/1 at Betfair.
Stephanie Frances each-way – get the best odds 33/1 at bet365.
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