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Mares' Hurdle Entries: Honeysuckle still in among 24 entries

Honeysuckle Champion Hurdle

Marie's Rock looks set to defend her title in the Mares' Hurdle at Cheltenham in 2023, but her name is not the one that leaps off the page when assessing the latest list of 24 entries recently released. The reigning 2 time Champion Hurdler HONEYSUCKLE has in recent days had her plans stated to be Champion Hurdle again or retirement, yet she is still in the list for this race which she won in an epic renewal back in 2020 from Benie Des Dieux...

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Marie's Rock could hardly have been more impressive on her return to action in the X when sauntering the a three and a bit length victory. The performance can be further marked up as connections thought they had a lot left to do with the mare so the manner in which she dismissed some quality rivals shows she is still as good as she was back in March when taking the latest renewal of the Mares' Hurdle. She is the right favourite and if she goes here rather than the Stayers' as expected she should take all the beating at 5/2.

Next in the market comes Love Envoi, the pretender to the throne after winning the Mares' Novices' Hurdle last season for Harry Fry. She looked to have kicked on again on seasonal reappearance when winning at Sandown and backed that up with a facile success at the same track recently. She will have to kick on again to find the levels of improvement to beat Marie's Rock, but she looks progressive so is one to fear. Of course, if Honeysuckle or Epatante turn up at their best we are in for an epic. However, as mentioned in the introduction Honeysuckle's chances of lining up here look remote at best.

The story of Epatante, the 2020 Champion Hurdler, is a bit more perplexing as handler Nicky Henderson claimed it was an error on his part that she wasn't included in the latest batch of entries and she may well be supplemented. If either turn up expect a massive odds shake up, but for now it's best to tread lightly.

Mares' Hurdle Odds

Runners

Marie's Rock silk
15
Marie's Rock
Nicky Henderson
1
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Brandy Love silk
5
Brandy Love
W P Mullins
1
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Love Envoi silk
13
Love Envoi
Harry Fry
1
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Epatante silk
Epatante
1
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Honeysuckle silk
10
Honeysuckle
Henry De Bromhead
1
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Echoes In Rain silk
6
Echoes In Rain
W P Mullins
1
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Shewearsitwell silk
21
Shewearsitwell
W P Mullins
1
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Telmesomethinggirl silk
23
Telmesomethinggirl
Henry De Bromhead
1
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Queens Brook silk
18
Queens Brook
Gordon Elliott
1
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Santa Rossa silk
20
Santa Rossa
Dermot A McLoughlin
1
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Gauloise silk
7
Gauloise
W P Mullins
1
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West Balboa silk
24
West Balboa
Dan Skelton
1
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Skyace silk
22
Skyace
John Joseph Hanlon
1
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Anna Bunina silk
2
Anna Bunina
John C McConnell
1
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Marada silk
14
Marada
Dan Skelton
1
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Royale Margaux silk
19
Royale Margaux
Tom Symonds
1
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Molly Ollys Wishes silk
17
Molly Ollys Wishes
Dan Skelton
1
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Get A Tonic silk
8
Get A Tonic
Dan Skelton
1
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Indefatigable silk
11
Indefatigable
Paul Webber
1
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Braganza silk
4
Braganza
W P Mullins
1
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Lady Adare silk
12
Lady Adare
Harry Fry
1
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Midnight Ginger silk
16
Midnight Ginger
Andrew J Martin
1
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Holly Hartingo silk
9
Holly Hartingo
Alastair Ralph
1
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Bop Bop Bobbin silk
3
Bop Bop Bobbin
Luke Comer
1
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Each Way Terms
Odds correct as of 2023-01-28 15:59 Odds subject to change.

Cheltenham Festival News

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Brandy Love looks to be the main hope of Willie Mullins, a trainer who is no stranger to a high quality mare after housing Annie Power, Benie Des Dieux and of course Quevega. She has not been seen since laughing at Love Envoi in the Grade One Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Novice Hurdle Championship Final, but if Mullins has managed to get her right in time for the Festival or sooner (perhaps the DRF) she is a major player an won't be the price she is now on the day.

The next Mullins raider in the market and still in the entries is Echoes In Rain. Fifth in the race last year, she is a wonderfully consistent sort who deserves her chance again with a year's more experience under her belt. She may not have the class of some of the others but could run well for a strong team.

Tellmesomethinggirl is another still entered after the latest scratchings, this despite notching a win over fences recently. Although she won her jumping was seriously poor and connections must surely be favouring a drop back to hurdles rather than risking a mishap at the larger obstacles. Shewearsitwell was behind Queens Brook in the market but in front of her where it counted at Leopardstown over Christmas and as a result sits ahead of her in the antepost lists for this race.

A host of lively outsiders lurk further down the odds lists, however t would be no surprise to see the market protagonists fight out the finish. Racing fans everywhere will want to see Honeysuckle and Epatante in the Champion Hurdle to give Constitution Hill something to think about, but both would have a far better chance in this race if truth be told.

Full list of entries for the Mares' Hurdle

  • Ailie Rose
  • Anna Bunina
  • Bop Bop Bobbin
  • Braganza 
  • Brandy Love
  • Echoes In Rain
  • Gauloise
  • Get A Tonic 
  • Holly Hartingo 
  • Honeysuckle
  • Indefatigable
  • Lady Adare
  • Love Envoi
  • Marada 
  • Marie's Rock 
  • Midnight Ginger
  • Molly Ollys Wishes
  • Queens Brook
  • Royale Margaux
  • Santa Rossa
  • Shewearsitwell
  • Skyace
  • Telmesomethinggirl
  • West Balboa
Cheltenham Festival Odds
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