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David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle 2021 Racecard

The David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle is a Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race which is open to mares aged four years or older. The David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle is one of the newer races at the Cheltenham Festival, first run in 2008 when it was held on the final day of the meeting and run on the New Course.

3:40 Tue 16 Mar DAVID NICHOLSON MARES' HURDLE

Distance: 19f 200y Age: 4yo + Prize: £90,000 Going: Gd/Sft

Analyst's Verdict

Last year's Dawn Run winner CONCERTISTA has progressed again this term and can notch a second Festival success and provide her trainer with a tenth win in this race. Roksana, who took this in 2019, has been better than ever around 3m this term and can give the favourite most to think about, ahead of Dame de Compagnie, who is open to further improvement back hurdling.

ENTRY
FORM
SILKS HORSE
JOCKEY & TRAINER
AGE
WGT
1
23122-331
jockey silks 1. BLACK TEARS
J: J. W. Kennedy
T: Mrs Denise Foster, Ireland
7
11-5
* * *
23122-331
* * *
Chased home Dame de Compagnie in Coral Cup last season. Back to winning ways in Punchestown Grade 3 15 days ago but didn't have to be at her very best and that certainly won't be the case here.
2
2/4331-11
jockey silks 2. CONCERTISTA (FR)
J: P. Townend
T: W. P. Mullins, Ireland
7
11-5
* * * * *
2/4331-11
* * * * *
Ready 12-length winner of Dawn Run at this meeting last year and has improved again this season, easily seeing off Minella Melody to win 2½m Leopardstown Grade 3 in December. Hard to beat.
3
511-1U
jockey silks 3. DAME DE COMPAGNIE (FR)
J: Aidan Coleman
T: Nicky Henderson
8
11-5
* * * *
511-1U
* * * *
Highly progressive hurdler who landed Coral Cup at 2020 Festival. Beat Cornerstone Lad in match on Ayr chase debut/return. Unseated in Sandown Grade 2 since. Open to improvement back over timber.
4
32/132-23
jockey silks 4. DOLCITA (FR)
J: Paddy Brennan
T: Fergal O'Brien
6
11-5
* *
32/132-23
* *
Signed off for Willie Mullins with 12 lengths second to Concertista in Dawn Run. Better effort this term when third in 21f Warwick listed latest but hard to see her troubling former stablemate.
5
12129-142
jockey silks 5. FLORESSA (FR)
J: Nico de Boinville
T: Nicky Henderson
6
11-5
* *
12129-142
* *
Winner of Gerry Feilden at Newbury on her return and has posted a couple of good efforts at Graded level since. Races beyond 2m for the first time now. Improvement needed.
6
133083-17
jockey silks 6. GREAT WHITE SHARK (FR)
J: D. E. Mullins
T: W. P. Mullins, Ireland
7
11-5
* * *
133083-17
* * *
Third in Martin Pipe last year. Took a Galway handicap in July before returning to the Flat to win Cesarewitch at Newmarket. Disappointed in Grade 2 hurdle since but not type to stay down for long.
7
522311-36
jockey silks 7. INDEFATIGABLE (IRE)
J: Rex Dingle
T: Paul Webber
8
11-5
* * *
522311-36
* * *
Smart hurdler who ended last season with victory in Martin Pipe at this meeting. Operating well below that level in her 2 hurdle starts this winter but each-way claims if back to best. Had wind op.
8
31110-222
jockey silks 8. MINELLA MELODY (IRE)
J: Rachael Blackmore
T: Henry de Bromhead, Ireland
7
11-5
* * *
31110-222
* * *
Useful hurdler who has found Concertista too strong on her last 2 outings. Ought to give a good account but it's hard to see her turning the tables on Willie Mullins' mare.
9
24FB-2214
jockey silks 9. MY SISTER SARAH (IRE)
J: B. J. Cooper
T: W. P. Mullins, Ireland
7
11-5
* *
24FB-2214
* *
Back to best to win listed mares event at Limerick (22.5f) in October but not in same form when well behind Concertista and Minella Melody at Leopardstown since. Had wind op. Others preferred.
10
2/2524-131
jockey silks 10. ROKSANA (IRE)
J: Harry Skelton
T: Dan Skelton
9
11-5
* * * *
2/2524-131
* * * *
Fortunate winner of this in 2019 and fourth last year. Better than ever around 3m this winter, winning pair of Grade 2s, and a danger to Concertista if she can reproduce that level back over shorter.
11
1316-521P
jockey silks 11. WHITEHOTCHILLIFILI (IRE)
J: Sean Bowen
T: Harry Fry
7
11-5
*
1316-521P
*
Overcame a blunder 2 out when adding a listed event to her CV at Sandown (2½m) in January but has since run no sort of race in a similar event at Warwick. Up against it in this company.

Betting Forecast : 1/1 1 CONCERTISTA, 7/2 3.5 ROKSANA, 8/1 8 DAME DE COMPAGNIE, 18/1 18 BLACK TEARS, 25/1 25 GREAT WHITE SHARK, 28/1 28 INDEFATIGABLE, 28/1 28 MINELLA MELODY, 50/1 50 MY SISTER SARAH, 50/1 50 FLORESSA, 66/1 66 DOLCITA, 125/1 125 WHITEHOTCHILLIFILI

The David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle was switched to its current position on day one of the Cheltenham Festival in 2009, and was upgraded to Grade 1 status in 2015.

The race is now run on the Old Course over a distance of about two and a half miles (2 miles, 3 furlongs and 200 yards), and horses will jump nine hurdles in total.

Though one of the less valuable Grade 1 races at the Cheltenham Festival, the David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle has plenty of heritage associated with it, named as it is after the legendary trainer who won 17 races at the Cheltenham Festival, having also ridden five at the meeting as a jockey.

David Nicholson , who died in 2006, was British jump racing Champion Trainer in the 1993–94 and 1994–95 seasons.

The son of Herbert Charles Denton Nicholson (or ‘Frenchie’ Nicholson), who was also a successful jockey and National Hunt trainer, David Nicholson was nicknamed 'The Duke' by one of his father's grooms, and won the Cheltenham Gold Cup with Charter Party in 1988 and the Queen Mother Champion Chase with Viking Flagship in 1994 and 1995. He retired in 1999.

The David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle has been dominated by Willie Mullins , who is the most successful trainer in the race’s history.

He successfully saddled Quevega to win the next six renewals following Whiteoak’s victory in the 2008 David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle, a race that Mullins didn’t have any runners in.

Quevega was retired in May 2014, two months after recording her final win in the David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle aged 10.

Mullins won the following year’s renewal, though it wasn’t with the hot favourite Annie Power, who was four lengths clear when falling at the final flight of hurdles under Ruby Walsh. Instead, it was the 6/1 chance Glens Melody who prevailed.

The fall of Annie Power was not only a costly one for her jockey, but a blow to punters who had backed her into 2/1-on favourite for the race.

Annie Power was the fourth leg of lots of large multiple placed on horses trained by Mullins who were running on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival.

The first three runners, Douvan, Un de Sceaux and Faugheen, all won, and it was estimated by bookmakers that the fall of Annie Power saved them upwards of £50 million of payouts.

Mullins won two of the three following renewals of the David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle, with the Gordon Elliott -trained Apple’s Jade the only horse who has broken that pattern.

Apple’s Jade beat Mullins runners into second and third when winning the 2017 David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle, but could only manage third place a year later.

In almost an exact replica of Annie Power’s fall, Benie des Dieux lost the 2019 renewal when departing at the last when well clear, leaving the path clear for Roksana to oblige for Dan Skelton.

In terms of Timeform ratings, it usually takes a useful performance to win the David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle. The best performance was Quevega’s 2009 win, where she won by 14 lengths from United, and recorded a rating classed as smart on Timeform’s scale.

It’s no surprise that the most successful jockey in the David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle is Ruby Walsh , the number one jockey for Willie Mullins.

Walsh has ridden all-but-one of the yard’s winners, and his record of eight wins in the race is unlikely to be surpassed by any other rider. The only other jockeys to win the race are Jason Maguire (Whiteoak), Paul Townend (Glens Melody), Bryan Cooper (Apple’s Jade) and Harry Skelton (Roksana).

The only other jockeys to win the race are Jason Maguire (Whiteoak), Paul Townend (Glens Melody) and Bryan Cooper (Apple’s Jade).

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David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle 2022 FAQs

What is the distance of the David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle?

2 miles, 3 furlongs and 200 yards

How many obstacles are jumped in the David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle?

9

What day of the festival is the David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle?

Day 1

What time is the David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle?

16:10

What weights are carried for the David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle?

11 st 5 lb (5yo+). 10 st 10 lb (4yo).

What is the purse for the David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle?

£120,000 (2019)

Who is the leading jockey in the David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle*?

Ruby Walsh

Who is the leading trainer in the David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle*?

Willie Mullins

Who won the David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle?

You can check out our David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle results page here to see a list of previous winners.

Where can I compare the odds for the David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle?

Click the link to visit our David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle Odds Comparison page.

*Since 1977

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CHELTENHAM COUNTDOWN 2022

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NEXT RACE SMART STATS

16% Mark Johnston's strike rate with handicap debutants (saddles TROPICAL CYCLONE)
;