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    UK Horse Racing Tips David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle 2012

    Willie Mullins has issued an upbeat bulletin about the rarely-sighted but brilliant mare Quevega.

    She has won the last three renewals of the OLBG-sponsored David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle, and is an odds-on favourite to make it four next month. Apart from her first season with Mullins, Quevega has made a winning seasonal reappearance in the race, a preparation that is virtually unheard off, but seems to suit the eight-year-old well.

    "She's in great form. She was in terrific form about three weeks ago and she just went out of sorts a little bit so I gave her 10 easy days," Mullins told At The Races.

    "Now she's back, good and firing again. She wouldn't have run, but it meant I would have had nothing to do with her other than keep her ticking over.

    "I like to get them ready, then if anything goes wrong you can give them a bit of a break, rather than build them up totally for the Festival.

    "The other horses have a run and then you can build them up to the Festival. Two years ago I ran her in a schooling hurdle and she came back lame on the same leg I'd had a problem with the previous year, and it gave me such a fright I said I wouldn't run her again until the Festival.

    "It seems to work and she takes her training well that way. I'm very pleased with her.

    "Her breeder told me her mother was never any good until she was eight or nine so that bodes well. I can't disagree with him, she's certainly as good as she was."

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    Default Re: David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle 2012

    With opposition to reigning champion Quevega starting to look thin on the ground, Emma Lavelle is keen to run Kentford Grey Lady in the OLBG Mares' Hurdle (for the David Nicholson Trophy) at Cheltenham.

    The six-year-old came off second best against Violin Davis in a Grade Two at Ascot last time out but Lavelle is convinced that had the race been run at a stronger gallop, she would have emerged the winner.

    Lavelle believes a good gallop is almost guaranteed in the Festival heat and while admitting toppling the odds-on favourite may be tough, an each-way berth is achievable.

    "Touch wood, she's a definite runner in the David Nicholson," said Lavelle.

    "There might not be many taking on Quevega, but I understand Swincombe Flame might be so that adds another bit of depth to the race.

    "The more water they put on, the better it will be for her and I'm sure there'll be a stronger gallop than in the Ascot race.

    "If you ran that race 10 times I'd argue we'd come out on top more than we'd lose, but just on the day they went no gallop. She's growing up now and is turning into a lovely mare.

    "Obviously Quevega is going to be very hard to beat but I'd hope we'll be picking up some prize money.

    "She'll definitely jump a fence in time, but my gut feeling is she'll stay over hurdles next season as there's plenty of money to be won in the mares' hurdles races."

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    Default Re: David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle 2012

    Unaccompanied is only likely to line up in the OLBG Mares' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival if Quevega does not take part.

    Dermot Weld's Grade One-winning five-year-old was the surprise name among the 28 entries for the race better known as the David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle.

    The Willie Mullins-trained Quevega has ruled the roost in the Grade Two for the past three years and despite her unusual preparation of heading to Cheltenham without the aid of a prior run, is currently odds-on favourite to make it four in a row.

    Unaccompanied would at least give her something different to think about but Stan Cosgrave, racing manager for the owners, Moyglare Stud, said: "Dermot put her in just in case something happened to Willie Mullins' good mare.

    "It's doubtful she'll run, but if the good filly doesn't run then she would.

    "It's just a safety valve. It's unlikely, but you never know."

    A total of 28 mares are entered, with last year's Fred Winter winner What A Charm, Lanzarote Hurdle winner Swincombe Flame and Our Girl Salley engaged.

    Alasi, Kentford Grey Lady and Violin Davis are also entered.

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    Default Re: David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle 2012

    some trends

    irish trained mares have fared well overall to date [ not just quevega ]

    novice have over-performed so far

    front runners have struggled

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to ganjaman For This Useful Post:

    fazzyc (06-03-2012)

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    Default Re: David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle 2012

    Unaccompanied is unlikely to take her chance in the OLBG Mares' Hurdle at Cheltenham on Tuesday.

    She was left in the Grade Two contest, formerly known as the David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle, as a precaution in case something happened to Quevega, winner of the race for the last three years.

    The Dermot Weld-trained five-year-old, fourth to Hurricane Fly in the Irish Champion Hurdle on her latest start, will probably revert to the Flat for next month's Alleged Stakes at the Curragh, which she won last spring.

    "I don't think she'll run at Cheltenham. She was entered just in case something happened to the favourite. She'd have a great chance then," said Stan Cosgrove, racing manager for owners Moyglare Stud.

    "She'll run later on, maybe the Alleged Stakes back on the Flat.

    "We'll probably keep her on the Flat for this year and she'll be a great mare to breed from when she retires.

    "This may be her last year."

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    Default Re: David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle 2012

    Willie Mullins believes Quevega is stronger than ever as she bids for a fourth successive triumph in the OLBG Mares' Hurdle at Cheltenham.

    Since winning this prize for the first time in 2009, the eight-year-old has only graced the racecourse six times, delighting punters with two further victories at Prestbury Park as well as registering two wins against the boys at Punchestown.

    As has become tradition, she makes her seasonal reappearance in this Grade Two contest, better known as the David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle, but the Irish champion trainer could not be happier with her condition.

    Mullins said: "She travelled over well and Jess, who rides her all the time, thinks she's stronger than she was when she rode her out at Cheltenham last year. We're happy with the ground for her and fingers crossed all goes well."

    Of stablemate Dare To Doubt, a recent winner over fences at Thurles, he went on: "She won her chase last time, but she schooled well at the Curragh the other day over hurdles. On her Irish hurdle form, she has a great chance of getting some good place money."

    Second in the betting to the long odds-on Quevega is the Prunella Dobbs-trained Our Girl Salley. She has won seven times in Ireland and altough she was beaten over three miles at Ascot last time, jockey Andrew Lynch feels she will be more effective over this shorter trip.

    He told At The Races: "I rode her in Punchestown and she ran well, then she won well at Christmas. She seems in good form. Quevega is a good mare, but Salley is not too bad either, so hopefully she can run well. She may be better over two and a half miles, I think."

    One of the better hopes for the home team is Alasi, trained by Paul Webber. She has mixed it over hurdles and fences to good effect this season, winning four times, with the only blot on her copybook a parting with jockey Dominic Elsworth in a chase at Kempton.

    Webber said: "She seems to be in good form and we've decided to take the hurdling route. Kempton rather threw us off the chasing trail. We were lucky that race at Doncaster came along and she got her Grade Two win there despite not really being at her best.

    "She was a bit flat there after Kempton, but we think she's freshened up really well. Quevega is the one to beat, but you can't win if you don't run. We'll see which direction we head in after Cheltenham. We could go back to chasing at Aintree or Punchestown. I think she's in good form for this though."

 

 

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