Race Time: 2.05pm Meeting: Warwick Day: Saturday 13th February 2016 Full Race Name: OLBG.com Mares’ Hurdle (Listed Race) Class One
One Listed race for mares, and one seriously classy entry who looks to be head and shoulders in front of all her rivals this afternoon. Irish trainer Willie Mullins had a few entered at the four day stage but has now decided to rely on Petite Parisienne (7/2) and her alone. Now a five year old, the daughter of Montmartre can be a class act at her best but is another mare in the yard not reading the script properly before heading to the races, and hasn’t won this winter despite two reasonable opportunities. On her return at Naas she ran well enough in defeat when second to Gwencily Berbas over two miles but failed to build on that at Sandown when stepped up to this sort of trip and weakening quickly to be seventh of eight to Polly Peachum, thirty-five lengths adrift at the line. We see no reason why a furlong further will help but acknowledge that Willie Mullins knows a lot more than we do, and if he think this race suits he may well know best.
Despite how it appears, Willie Mullins doesn’t quite have the monopoly on the tip Irish horses and Jarlath Fahey will be hoping for a winning run from the more consistent Jennies Jewel (2/1) who is clear second best at these weights (by a mere pound) and would appear to be the value call to us. Her win record of two victories from twenty eight attempts over hurdles makes shocking reading at first glance but she seems to be getting better race on race, and she did run a good second to the classy Vroum Vroum Mag (also as Mullins inmate) at Ascot over a fraction shy of three miles last time out, though she was sent off 33/1 that day and that was a career best effort. Her idea trip seems in question with three miles perhaps too far, and two and a half leaving her looking one paced, which is one good reason to send her here over the relatively unusual distance of two miles five furlongs and at the prices she will be carrying our cash.
Although seemingly outclassed, at least Gary Moore’s Flute Bowl (9/1) has a couple of wins to her name already this season having scored at both Sandown and Fontwell though her more interesting form was when she finished sixth of eight to Polly Peachum back at Sandown – one place and over four lengths in front of Petite Parisienne. Only three pounds worse off with that rival today pure form book analysis says she will do so again and at the prices, we could hardly blame anyone for risking that option just in case the jolly has another off day.
As the only course winner in the field, Grape Tree Flame (20/1) deserves a passing mention, though the fact that the eight year old mare ahs been pulled up in her last two races doesn’t bode well for her chances, especially when we saw that she burst a blood vessel at Newbury. Prior to those two races she did win here over half a mile further so stamina is not an issue but in all honesty she looks hopelessly outclassed, and it will be a major shock if she can win this race this afternoon.
Lastly, trainer Harry Fry has a good set of mares in his yard and will know where he stands with Jessber’s Dream (15/8) who isn’t a million miles away from the principle when you remember she receives five pounds from her main rivals. Bought after winning a point to point at Ballyvodock in Ireland, she was fourth in an Aintree bumper and then won a maiden hurdle over two and a half miles at Lingfield and a novice hurdle at Exeter. Dropped back to two miles at Taunton, she was two and a half lengths second to Myska (another Mullins inmate) but may have found the trip on the short side. Upped in trip again here and on going we know she will handle, her chances may well be ignored by other punters (hopefully), and if the price is large enough, she looks a rock solid each way option, its just a shame we only have a maximum of six runners.