• Close Brothers Mares' Hurdle

     

    HEADLINES

    33 out of the last 36 win and placed had won over at least 2 + 1/2 miles.

    9 winners already placed at least in a G2 against the boys.

    No winner of this began their career on the Flat in GB or Ireland

    Both Apples Jade and Honeysuckle did the Hattons Grace double in same season.

    Vroom Vroom Mag and Quevega '10-'14 had at least 6lb in hand on handicap ratings

    Willie Mullins has trained nine of the last 12 winners (and Benie Des Dieux).

    No headgear wearers win or placed in the last 12.

    Last 12 winners all came from the front four in the market.

    Five of the last six favourites beaten, biggest price of those beaten - 6/4.

    Summary

     

    Race Distance - 2 miles and abt 4 furlongs. A page that hasn't taken much updating over the years. Quevega won it a lot, Annie Power and Benie Des Dieux would have hacked home, Vroum Vroum Mag had a leisurely stretch in 2016 and in 2017 Apples Jade just beat off Vroum Vroum and Limini. In 2018 Apples Jade surprisingly turned over by Benie Des Dieux. Nightmare for Ruby in 2019 and Willie not pleased with his jockeys last year.
     
    Winner and all placed horses previously won over at least 2 and a half miles. Irish trained will get placed as well. Winner not wearing headgear. Didn't start career on UK and Ire Flat. A short priced favourite is due to win (or either a real fat one). G2 placed form in open company becoming a must. Check Quevega Hurdle Punchestown 20th Feb.
     
     
  • Honours Board

    Year||| Form||| Winner||| Age||| OR||| SP||| Trainer||| Jockey||| Runners |||Last race (No of days)

    2020||| 111||| Honeysuckle||| 6||| 158||| 9/4||| H de Bromhead(IRE) ||| R Blackmore ||| 9 ||| 1st G1 Leop Irish Champion (38)

    2019||| 3||| Roksana |||7||| 142 |||10/1 |||D Skelton |||H Skelton |||14 |||3rd Listed Sandown Contenders 2m (38)

    2018||| 11||| Benie des Dieux |||7 |||147||| 9/2 |||W Mullins(IRE) |||R Walsh |||9 |||1st Listed Naas Opera Hat M Ch 2m (31)

    2017||| 12212||| Apple's Jade|||5||| 153||| 7/2 |||G Elliott(IRE)||| B Cooper |||17||| 2nd Listed M F'house Quevega Hdle (20)

    2016||| 111||| Vroum Vroum Mag||| 7||| 154||| 4/6F |||W Mullins(IRE)||| R Walsh ||| 19 |||1st G2 M Ascot Warfield Hdle 3m (52)

    2015 |||47521||| Glens Melody||| 7 |||150||| 6/1||| W Mullins(IRE)||| P Townend ||| 15 |||1st Listed M Warwick Hdle 2m 5f (31)

    2014||| -||| Quevaga ||| 10 |||167||| 8/11F |||W Mullins(IRE) |||R Walsh||| 16||| 1st G1 P'town World Hdle 3m (320)

    2013||| - ||| Quevega |||9||| 163 |||8/11F |||W Mullins(IRE) |||R Walsh |||19 |||1st G1 P'town World Hdle 3m (320)

    2012||| - ||| Quevega ||| 8 ||| 158||| 4/7F |||W Mullins(IRE)||| R Walsh |||19 |||1st G1 P'town World Hdle 3m (313)

    2011||| - ||| Quevega |||7 |||158 |||5/6F |||W Mullins(IRE) |||R Walsh |||14 |||1st G1 P'town World Hdle 3m (327)

    Evidence

    First run 2008. Upgraded to G1 in 2015.

     

    Apart from Whiteoak 2008, L'Unique 2014 and Legacy Gold 2016 all the other 33 win and placed had previously won over at least 2 and 1/2 miles. Whiteoak had been winner last time out and had placed form in a G2 Novice hurdle. L'Unique had won a 4yr G1 at Aintree.

     

    Whiteoak, a 5 yr old, held on to win the inaugural running when Refinement pulled herself up in the final furlong.

     

    Quevega hacked home 6 times between 2009 and 2014, her final win achieved as a 10 yr old. A fantastic training performance. 'In command' was the phrase used about her in RP race notes 2014. Exactly the same phrase used about the racing positions of Annie Power and Benie Des Dieux before misfortune befell both at the last hurdle in 2015 and 2019 respectively. 'In command' would describe Quevega's relationship with this race. In '09 she had won last time out, '10 she won by 4l after returning from injury. In 2011, on her first run for 327 days, she wins by 10l and more checks should have been carried out to prove that she hadn't joined in at halfway. In 2012 it was only 313 days off so the rest of them decided to jog for over 2 miles and sprint up the hill. She wins by 4 lengths. 'Readily' was an understatement. I did suggest in 2013 that 'Maybe they should tie her back legs together and start her pointing in the opposite direction'. Well, she got hampered, shuffled back and nearly fell on the flat at the top of the hill. She touched 4s with Betfair, and still won, 'going away'. Finished like Nijinsky (relatively) over the final 3 furlongs. In 2014 it looked for a split second that Glens Melody might have got away from her as they came round the corner. It did look that way, just for a split second.

     

    In 2014 Quevega rated 167, 22lbs higher than the second top rated Cockney Sparrow on 145.

     

    They all carry 11st 5lb.

     

    Ratings - As seen from the Board 2020 Honeysuckle 158, Benie Des Dieux 158, Elfile 151. 2019 Benie Des Dieux (F) 151, Roksana 142, Stormy Ireland 148. 2018 Benie Des Dieux 147, Midnight Tour 145, Apple's Jade 158. 2017 Apples Jade 153, Vroum Vroum Mag and Limini both 154. Next best 144. 2016 Vroum Vroum rated 154. Next two top rated Bitofapuzzle 148 and Desert Queen 147 both flopped. 2015 Annie Power (F) rated 162, Polly Peachum only 7lb behind on 155 and Glens Melody, the winner, on 150.

     

    Irish trained - 11 wins, six runners up, eight thirds and a fourth. W Mullins has nine wins. Henry de Bromhead won last year with his first ever runner in the race. Dan Skelton (fortunate) in 2019 only UK trainer to take this since Donald McCain won the very first one in 2008. 1-2-3 in 2020 from 5 of the 10 runners. Had the front three in the market.

     

    PRICE - Honeysuckle 9/4 2nd fav, Roksana 10/1 4th fav (behind Willie's front three) Benie Des Dieux second fav at 9/2, Apples Jade won as third favourite at 7/2. Going backwards from 2016, the three Mullins hotpots had the SPs of 4/6, 1/2 (F), 8/11 (twice) 4/7, 5/6, 6/4 and 2/1. All favourites. Quevega and Apple's Jade won this as a five year olds, Benie Des Dieux was a seven year old. Biggest priced Irish trained winner is Glens Melody at 6/1. Roksana the first winner outside front three in the betting since Whiteoak '08.

     

    None of the last four favourites have won. That seems odd for this Mares Race. Vroom Vroom Mag beaten at 6/4 in 2017. Four other odds on shots turned over in the last six renewals. Short Priced fav DUE. The second favourite has been placed 6 times in the thirteen races.

     

    Apple's Jade, Quevega and Whiteoak only five yr olds to win this. Apple's jade and Honeysuckle the only ones to do Hattons Grace double in the same season. Apple's Jade the first four year old ever to win a Hattons Grace. Won three of them. Another wonderful mare.

     

    11 of the 13 winners had won or placed in an open Graded Race, 10 in at least a G2. Exceptions Vroom Vroom Mag and Benie Des Dieux. 2020 both the 1-2 had very strong Open Graded form.

     

    The OLBG Mares Hurdle at Ascot registered as the Warfield has been a fair trial, if not recently. Vroum Vroum Mag won it en route to success here. Three runners in it finished second to Quevega. United and Sparky May won at Ascot before finishing second here. Both Kentford Grey Lady 2012 and Refinement 2008 finished second in both races in the same season. Ran over soft ground in 2017, Le Bague Au Roi won easy at Ascot but disappointed here. Magic Of Light didn't come to this the last two years, might suggest Jessica didn't believe she had the class. And Aintree beckoned.

     

    Quevega Mares Hurdle at Punchestown 20th Feb saw Limini bt Apple's Jade in 2017, places reversed here. 2016 Legacy Gold has been placed in both, 40/1 here. 2018 Merie Devie didn't come here. 2019 Stormy Ireland finished second in both. 2020 Elfile won at Punchestown, third here. 5/1 w/o the top two. Thank you Tony Keenan @RacingTrends.

     

    No winner began their career on the Flat in GB or Ireland.

     

    Apple's Jade 2017 only one to do the Hattons Grace/Mares double in the same season. Honeysuckle


    Apart from Quevega no other horse had finished in the first three more than once until Glens Melody in 2015 and Benie Des Dieux 2020.

     

     

    Headgear winners are 0 from 25. None placed. Only Lady Buttons in usual cheekpieces last year, 7th.

     

     

     

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Wealth Warning.  Any decisions made (or not) or the basis of any information in this site are the sole responsibility of the reader.  There is no obligation on me to follow my own advice.  I take no responsibility for (but am keen to hear of) any factual errors.  (Bgault01@gmail.com, @gaultstats). Previous years ‘stats on stats’ would suggest we may identify a decent priced winner from manageable groups every three or four races.  It is believed that Savello (2014 Grand Annual) took from Golden Chieftain (2013 3m hcap chase) the record for breaking the most stats in a race.  Stands now at 8.  Cole Harden equalised with 8 in the 2015 World Hurdle.  Remember, after you have cursed/laughed at me and given up totally on trends, they will come back to bite.  Always happens.  Usually on Gold Cup Day. 

Beware GO SEA - Groundless Optimism Syndrome Encouraged by Alcohol.  A Cotswold condition very common at this time of year.