The Mares’ Hurdle is run over two and a half miles on the old course and the participants usually have to jump ten hurdles if they are to emerge victorious in this Grade One event.
The race has been farmed by Willie Mullins since its inception in 2008 with the Closutton based trainer winning the race an incredible nine times. It is open to fillies and mares aged four and older.
The last ten winners of this race had all been at least placed in their previous start and Quevega is the only ten-year-old to have won the race to date.
Statistics suggest more recently that the favourite has to be taken on as six out of the last seven favourites including Concertista, Benie Des Dieux (twice), Apple’s Jade, Limini and Annie Power have all been beaten.
It also suggests that if a horse is wearing any form of headgear, their chances are diluted as not one mare has been even placed in the race when they have been applied.
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Previous Winners of the Mare’s Hurdle
Runners To Watch
Below are selected runners who hold entries for the Mare’s Hurdle 2022.
Karl Hedley provides some recent form notes to help point you in the right direction of identifying the winner.
TELMESOMETHINGGIRL – HENRY DE BROMHEAD
Telmesomethinggirl comes into this race as favourite as she ran away with the Dawn Run last year and beat Magic Daze by a little over five lengths.
She has been beaten on each of her three starts since but showed signs of a return to form when third to Royal Kahala in a Grade 3 mares’ hurdle at Leopardstown just after Christmas.
The yard are starting to hit a bit of form now but she looks still needs to take a significant step forward having been off the track for three months.
QUEENS BROOK – GORDON ELLIOTT
Queens Brook is only relatively lightly raced but signalled that she was in good form with a fine second to Burning Victory at Punchestown in the Quevega Mares’ Hurdle (Grade 3).
That run came after a near four-month break and could well have left her pretty much spot on for this race.
She was not disgraced when third to Ferny Hollow in the Champion Bumper at this meeting a couple of seasons ago and Gordon Elliott has unofficially won this race twice in the last five years.
Black Tears was moved into the care of Denise Foster last season in the run up to the Festival, but Elliott did the hard part.
She absolutely loves to get her toe in and will be a threat to all if the ground turns soft.
STORMY IRELAND – WILLIE MULLINS
Stormy Ireland cannot be left out of the equation following a win over this course and distance in the Relkeel Hurdle back in January.
She was second in this race to Roksana back in 2019 and that may well have been her best opportunity.
No eight-year-old has won this race since the mighty Quevega in 2012 and there are plenty of rivals in here with fewer miles on the clock.
She needs to set the pace as she has only one real style of running and she may well be pestered for the lead here. She looks to be the stable second-string.
BURNING VICTORY – WILLIE MULLINS
Burning Victory is the horse that grabbed victory from the jaws of defeat when Goshen stumbled at the last flight in the Triumph back in 2020.
Since then she has been sparingly campaigned although picked up a couple of good wins on the continent and was even a good second to Buzz in the Cesarewitch last October.
She won her first race over hurdles for the current campaign at Punchestown last time beating Queens Brook in a Grade 3 Mares Hurdle.
She meets here on better terms today so no reason why the form should be reversed.
MRS MILNER – PAUL NOLAN
Mrs Milner was the subject of a hefty gamble when winning the Pertemps Network Final at this meeting last season.
She enjoyed a four month break and returned to winning ways at Limerick back in October.
She was then upped in grade to contest the Long-Distance Hurdle at Newbury but had no response to her male counterparts who pulled at least eight lengths clear of her.
Back against her own sex here will certainly be in her favour and her previous win from last year will be an asset she can use to her full advantage.
She is a fighter and will make her presence known.
HEAVEN HELP US – PAUL HENNESSY
Heaven Help Us came here in much better form last year to win a very competitive Coral Cup.
She was last seen finishing last of five in the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown last month, although she was way out of her depth.
Although this is a far easier race and against her own sex, you ideally would have wanted to come here on the back of a far more positive run.
She certainly has the talent to make the frame and likes the track but so do many others and they seem to be on better terms with themselves.
She has not won a race for a year and hard to see her reversing that current trend here.
MARIE’S ROCK – NICKY HENDERSON
Marie’s Rock has been well supported for the race having been available at as big as 33/1 she is shorter than 10/1 in places.
She has been rejuvenated of late and won a listed race at Warwick on her most recent start.
Her record around here is not impressive as she finished seventh in the Greatwood Hurdle last November so she needs to improve upon that showing.
This race is usually won by the Irish and Nicky Henderson has never taken this in fourteen previous renewals.
MARTELLO SKY – LUCY WADHAM
Martello Sky looks to be the best chance that team GB have at wrestling this prize back from the Irish who have dominated this race for so long.
The likeable grey mare has won six of her eight starts over hurdles, two of which have come over this course and distance.
Her most recent win at Sandown came in January where she beat Anythingforlove by just under two lengths.
Over this longer trip she could well reverse the form from last year with Tellmesomethinggirl and is definitely worth her place in the line-up.
Ticks The Right Boxes?
2022 Mare’s Hurdle Tips & Key Trends
STORMY IRELAND has proved something of a revelation since returning to Willie Mullins and won pretty easily when taking the Relkeel Hurdle here back in January.
She has one way of running and that is from the front. She is a former winner of the Mare’s Champion Hurdle at Punchestown and will likely head back there to defend her crown after this.
Back in against her own sex having beaten the boys last time will stand her in good stead and she looks sure to run a big race.
Martello Sky has also proved something of a revelation this year and has come into her own for Lucy Wadham. With multiple course and distance wins to her name, she too commands plenty of respect.
- 12 of the 14 winners of this race were trained in Ireland
- 11 of the 14 winners won last time out
- 9 winners of this race have been trained by Willie Mullins
Odds With Paddy Power – correct at time of publication
- 5/2 Telmesomethinggirl
- 4/1 Queens Brook
- 11/2 Stormy Ireland
- 8/1 Burning Victory
- 9/1 Echoes In Rain
- 11/1 Mrs Milner
- 12/1 Heaven Help Us
- 12/1 Maries Rock
- 16/1 Martello Sky
- 25/1 Indefatigable
- 50/1 Western Victory
- 150/1 Nada To Prada