TRAINER Willie Mullins has won the last eight renewals of the Mares’ Hurdle (4.10pm) and with both LIMINI and Vroum Vroum Mag declared to line-up, I’d be shocked if he didn’t make it nine.
Regular followers of this column will know how highly I rate last year’s winner Vroum Vroum Mag.
Not only did I recommend her in this very race 12 months ago, I advised her at 10/1 for the Champion Hurdle (luckily NRNB) a few days ago, too.
The fact that she wasn’t declared to take part in that race concerns me and maybe connections still have her latest disappointing performance at Doncaster fresh in their minds.
I had been tempted to forgive her that one under par display, but the fact Ruby Walsh abandons her for stablemate Limini tips the balance in her favour.
As much as I like to convince myself that he may have made the wrong choice, I am struggling to remember many occasions where Ruby has got the big decisions wrong with the Mullins runners.
Limini, last year’s Mares’ Novices Hurdle winner, upset Apple’s Jade on her belated seasonal reappearance at Punchestown last month and a tilt at the Champion Hurdle had been considered too.
Connections have never hidden their regard for the mare and she looks the one most likely to be crowned at 13/8 with 188BET.
Apple’s Jade is sure to run well again, but she would be doing well to stop the two Mullins-trained mares bagging the first two places.
Limini 4.10pm Cheltenham