A Mares’ Handicap Hurdle kicks off two days of Channel 4 action from the home of Jumps Racing, Cheltenham.
DAWNIERIVER landed a hat-trick of wins earlier this year, culminating in a 49 length romp at Plumpton on good ground over 3 miles 1 furlong two starts back. She finished a fine second behind the re-opposing Queen Spud, but clearly didn’t handle the ground that day. Given that her rival loves it at Fakenham, she looks well-weighted to gain revenge here on better ground and dropped in trip.
Many of these are lightly raced over hurdles and the once raced Treaty Girl should go well. Ben Pauling’s five-year-old mare was lightly raced over hurdles with a record of 2-4 and was a decent enough third on chase debut a few weeks ago. 11st 12lb isn’t an obvious gift and she needs to show more, but she remains with potential and has to be respected.
Yes I Did has also only run once over fences and kicked off with an odds on victory at Fontwell at the start of November, beating Kayfleur comprehensively that time around, although that rival didn’t jump fluently. Again, 11st 11lb and 11st 7lb respectively isn’t a gift for either runner and they need to show more fluency today, with the former needing to settle better also.
Song Saa was not far behind Troubled Soul on chase debut last month and should get closer to her rival now with that run behind her. Won back-to-back races over hurdles earlier in the spring, but that came on heavier ground than she encounters here and she didn’t fare well last start on good ground.
A 20/1 surprise, Emerald Rose ran much better than she has previously over 3 miles at Market Rasen last month. She drops back in distance today which shouldn’t make too much of a difference as she has won over shorter and looks to have plenty of stamina. However, she will need to raise her game again to win back-to-back races off an 8lb higher mark.
Queen Spud goes for the hat-trick after winning at Uttoxeter and Fakenham and has to be considered a lively contender in this sort of form. She knocked off Dawnieriver latest over further and isn’t likely confirm placings with that rival going back down in trip as she now seems to prefer Fakenham.
Troubled Soul looked like she had the potential for more improvement and she has the in-form Paddy Brennan up top to do the steering. The ground shouldn’t be an issue – nor is the trip – and she has to be considered as one of the main contenders today off the same mark. However, it is uncertain whether she will get up the hill and is not always suited to a true stamina test.