Mares' Novices' Hurdle Tips: Mullins to saddle big priced winner

Willie Mullins will saddle a strong team in the Mares' Novices' Hurdle
Willie Mullins will saddle a strong team in the Mares' Novices' Hurdle

A strong field of emerging talented mares will line up for the Mares' Novices' Hurdle on Thursday afternoon, and our in-house tipster Steve Chambers picks out his best bet for the race here...

Dominated by the Irish since its inception in 2016, Willie Mullins has saddled five of the six winners of this contest, and the master of Closutton will unleash another strong battalion at this year's renewal with Dinoblue and Brandy Love spearheading his team. The former has been heavily supported for the race in recent weeks, and made a huge impression when winning eye-catchingly by 15 lengths on Clonmel on debut. Not seen since, it's hard to gauge how good she could be, but with market support suggesting she's an exciting talent then she has to be watched.

Second in the betting behind the 5/2 market leader is 4/1 chance Brandy Love, who is another Mullins runner, and she was equally as impressive when winning a maiden hurdle by ten lengths. Suffering defeat next time out when second to Allegorie De Vassy in a Grade 3 at Fairyhouse, Brandy Love will look to bounce back to winning form, and she is sure to be a solid contender.

Grangee (8/1) is another from the Mullins yard prominent in the betting, and she was a faller in the Fairyhouse contest mentioned above, so she will need to bounce back, but has shown talent, however, the one worth siding with is the proven Grade 1 winner STATUAIRE, who is hugely over-priced at 20/1. A fine winner of the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at the start of the season, she's failed to kick on from that November win at Fairyhouse, as she could only finish sixth behind Sir Gerhard in Grade 1 company last time out. But, having proven it on the big stage, and having racked up a host of wins prior to that sixth placed finish then she can run a mighty race here, and is a cracking each-way play.

Cheltenham Tips

Gordon Elliott could have something to say on this contest as he will saddle the progressive Party Central, who has notched up a brace of wins in her last two starts, and she impressed when winning a handicap hurdle last time out. Stepping up to Graded company here, she will need to improve, but she is likely to come on again, so has to be respected.

Colm Murphy's Impervious got the better of Party Central when they met at Down Royal back in October, but her winning run of three came to a close last time out when she was well beaten by Statuaire in the Royal Bond, so she will need to improve to reverse that form with the selection.

British contenders have failed to figure prominently in this race, but Harry Fry's Love Envoi has been a real winning machine this campaign, and is going in search of a fifth win on the bounce on Thursday afternoon. Last seen winning at Sandown in Grade 2 company, she continues to blossom over timber and at 16/1 could be value, while other notable runners for the British include Dan Skelton's Nurse Susan, who was behind Love Envoi at Sandown and Alan King's Nina The Terrier, but it's sure to be an Irish dominance once again with the Willie Mullins recapturing the trophy.

Mares' Novices' Hurdle
Statuaire silk

Statuaire (EW)

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