Cheltenham Tips – best bets for the Mares Hurdle

Mares’ Hurdle Tips

Daryl Carter (@darylcarter7) gives the latest of his Cheltenham tips in the Mares’ Hurdle which takes place on Cheltenham Day 1.

If I have guests round, this would normally be the race where I wouldn’t mind asking them if they want a cup of tea – I don’t drink tea – but any excuse to get out of watching. However, this year’s Mares Hurdle current entries have the complete opposite effect on me and I simply cant wait to see the clash between the two at the top of the market should they line up here.

Mares’ Hurdle Tips – Benie’s got the jets

Superstar mare BENIE DES DIEUX was unfortunate in this race last season when falling at the last (I can hear grunts and moans as you relive the accumulator biting the dust).

While she has been sublime since over three miles, she has shown throughout her time in Ireland and Britain that she is versatile, winning over trips between 2m-3m. She was in total control last season before coming down in this race and she will take all the beating this year for trainer Willie Mullins. She deserves her odds-on price.

Mares Hurdle Tips – Honey could be sweet

HONEYSUCKLE is the new kid on the block and she has looked outstanding this season landing the Grade 1 Hatton’s Grace and Irish Champion Hurdle.  She has the option of running in the Champion Hurdle, which at this time looks the weaker race after Benie Des Dieux’s emphatic performance in the Galmoy Hurdle, but should she turn up here for a mouth-watering clash, we are in for a treat!

She’s a high-class mare but is yet to taste experience of the Cheltenham Festival and the lack of course experience would have to be a slight worry.

Mares Hurdle Tips – Trying to go one better

Willie Mullins will be dab-handed in this race and STORMY IRELAND has thrown her hat into the ring after a trio of successes this term took her form to a new level.

There is no doubt she’s improving but she still has 9lb to find on Irish official ratings with her stablemate Benie Des Dieux. She’ll likely improve on the back of her runner-up finish in this race last year (after Benie’s fall) and she can reverse last season’s Mares Hurdle form with Roksana. She rates a solid each-way bet and is likely to grab some prize-money.

Mares Hurdle Tips – Tough task to repeat

Dan Skelton is a master trainer and is more than capable of readying a horse for the Cheltenham Festival.  ROKSANA was a fortunate winner of the race last term after the fall of Benie Des Dieux and it’s extremely difficult to see her repeating that win if Benie Des Dieux turns up this season. Roksana’s runs this season have left me feeling a little flat and she has been readily held by lesser horses than those at the top of the market.

Unless the return to racing against her own sex sparks her into life or she has been primed for one big effort here, then I can’t have her in the frame at this stage.

Mares Hurdle Tips – Big-race verdict

Those at bigger odds are difficult to warm to with this race being dominated by the head of the market. The hope is we see two special mares go head to head and I am siding with BENIE DES DIEUX. Even if the two don’t clash, she’ll prove hard to beat and I expect Stormy Island to follow her home.