Mares' Chase 2022 Entries: Concertista and Elimay feature among 15 entries

Concertista will bid for a second win at the Cheltenham Festival.
Concertista will bid for a second win at the Cheltenham Festival.

Willie Mullins will unleash a strong team at the 2022 Mares' Chase on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival, and the Closutton brigade will be spearheaded by the classy duo of Concertista and Elimay, who feature among the 15 entries received for the 2m 4f contest...

A former winner of the Mares' Novices' Hurdle at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival, Concertista was unable to follow that up when runner-up to Black Tears in last season's Mares' Hurdle, but the Mullins charge has been sent over fences this campaign and has made an ultra-smooth transition to the chasing game. Wins at Cork and Limerick have shown her class over the larger obstacles, and it's duly earned her favouritism in the ante-post betting for the event, but she will face some lively opposition.

Stablemate Elimay was well fancied for the inaugural running of the Mares' Chase at the 2021 festival, but she was edged out by the classy Colreevy, but she warmed up for this year's event with a facile win at Naas last weekend, and she is another prominent figure in the betting for the Mullins team.

Another former Cheltenham Festival winner that could take her chance here is the hugely progressive Gordon Elliott-trained Mount Ida, who has kicked on since winning the Kim Muir last season, and was last seen getting the better of the aforementioned Elimay in a top notch Fairyhouse event on New Year's Day. She was entered for the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown earlier this month, which shows what regard she's held in, and she is entered for the Cheltenham Gold Cup on March 18, but if she were to take her chance here then she has to be a leading contender against the fancied Mullins pair.

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A sensational winner of the Queen Mother Champion Chase at last year's Cheltenham Festival, Put The Kettle On has really struggled to emulate that sort of Grade 1-winning form this campaign, and was last seen finishing fifth of five behind Mount Ida. Available at double-figured odds, at the time of writing, Henry De Bromhead's starlet will hope a return to Prestbury Park can see her recapture her best form.

Gordon Elliott's RIviere D'etel was beaten by Blue Lord in the Irish Arkle, and the Cullentra House is a leading fancy for the Arkle Challenge Trophy on the opening day of the festival, but Elliott has elected to give her an entry here, so she would add huge depth to this contest, if she did opt for this instead of the Arkle, which is unlikely.

Alan King's The Glancing Queen has shaped like a smart performer this season, and while she was no match for L'Homme Presse in the Dipper Novices' Chase at Cheltenham, she is a very smart mare and could be the leading challenger for Britain, while others of note in the list of 15 entries include Cheltenham winners Vienna Court and Gin On Lime, who will both enjoy a return to Prestbury Park.

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