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2025 MARES' HURDLE

ODDS & RUNNERS

The Mares’ Hurdle is a Grade 1 hurdle run over 2m4f and restricted to mares aged four years or older. It is run on the Old Course at Cheltenham over a distance of about 2 miles and 4 furlongs (4,005 metres) with ten hurdles to be jumped. It will take place on Tuesday 11th March 2025 | Time 16:10

Odds Provided by Betfred - Updated 17/05/2024

15/8

Lossiemouth

4/1

Brighterdaysahead

4/1

Jade De Grugy

7/1

Kargese

10/1

Golden Ace

12/1

Dysart Enos

16/1

Jetara

16/1

Spindleberry

33/1

Lantry Lady

MARES' HURDLE

RACE GUIDE

The Mares Hurdle is fully titled as the David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle. It is currently referred to as The Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle due to sponsorship and is open to mares aged four years or older. The Grade 1 National Hunt Race is run on Cheltenham’s Old Course over a distance of 2 miles and three furlongs.

The race was established in 2008 and has ten hurdles for runners to navigate along the way. It is run on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival each year.

The race was initially a Grade 2 but was then upgraded in 2015.

The race and winners trophy is named after David Nicholson. He was a successful jockey and trainer who had five winners as a rider and 17 as a trainer at Cheltenham.

PRIZE MONEY

Quevega, trained by Willie Mullins, won this race six times in a row between 2009 and 2014. For the first victory in 2009, connections were awarded £56,220 when beating United by 14 lengths. Quevega was the 2/1 favourite in the race.

When The Mares’ Hurdle was upgraded to a Grade 1 in 2015, Glen Melody was the 6/1 winner. The prize money had only increased by £50 to £56,270.

A hugely prestigious race on the Mares calendar, in 2020 the purse for the race was £120,000. Connections of Honeysuckle, the winner, took £67,524 home. She beat rival Benie Des Dieux, who was the 4/6 favourite, by half a length.

In 2021, the prize fund was reduced due to racing being held behind closed doors. A lack of ticket sales was responsible for the reduction so connections of the winner, Black Tears (11/1) took home £50,643, from the £90K fund.

By 2022 the prize money was back up to £120,000 and Marie's Rock the race winner earned £67,500 for the win. That was for trainer Nicky Henderson with jockey Nico De Boinville on board.

Opting for the Mares Hurdle over the Champion Hurdle, it was Henry De Bromhead's Honeysuckle who won the race in 2023. Ridden by Rachael Blackmore it was the second win in the race for the trio.

FAMOUS WINNERS

As The Mares’ Hurdle was initially a Grade 2 race, it didn’t attract the elite mares in training. However, Quevega made a name for herself after winning the race in six consecutive years, the last of which came in 2014 when she was 10-years-old.

Trained by Willie Mullins and ridden by Ruby Walsh on all six occasions, they also hold the records for leading jockey and trainer in the race.

In 2017 Apple’s Jade won The Mares’ Hurdle, for trainer Gordon Elliott. She beat the previous year's winner Vroum Vroum Mag by 1.5 lengths. She has gone on to win 11 Grade 1’s, which makes her one of the most successful mares in jumping history.

Benie Des Dieux won the race in 2018 at the age of seven, beating Midnight Tour and Apple’s Jade who placed third.

Benie Des Dieux failed to defend her title in 2019 losing out to Roksana and again in 2020 in a race that was ultimately won by Honeysuckle for trainer Henry De Bromhead and jockey Rachael Blackmore.

Honeysuckle returned to win in 2023, having won the Champion Hurdle in both 2021 and 2022, making her a legend at Cheltenham.

MARES' HURDLE RECORDS

The Mares’ Hurdle has only been part of the Cheltenham Festival for 15 years but already there are runaway leaders in the records.

As mentioned previously, Quevega has won the race a record six times. All of the wins were in consecutive years from 2009 to 2014. This record also breaks the record of Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Golden Miller, who won that race five consecutive times.

Ruby Walsh, the all-time leading jockey at the festival, is also the leading jockey in The Mares’ Hurdle. He rode Quevega in all of her six wins and then rode Vroum Vroum Mag (2016) and Benie Des Dieux (2018) to victory to record eight wins in total in the race.

Another record holder at the festival is Willie Mullins. He has trained the most winners in Cheltenham history and has trained nine winners in this race. Mullins trained Quevega, Glens Melody, Vroum Vroum Mag and Benie Des Dieux.

CHELTENHAM DAY ONE

RACE SCHEDULE

Time Race Distance Type
13:30 Sky Bet Supreme Novices Hurdle Race 2m abt ½f Hurdle
14:10 Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase abt 2m Chase
14:50 Ultima Handicap Chase 3m abt 1f Chase
15:30 Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy 2m abt ½f Hurdle
16:10 Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle 2m abt 4f Hurdle
16:50 Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Abt 2m ½f Hurdle
17:30 National Hunt Challenge Cup 3m 6f Chase

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