Since Whiteoak landed the inaugural running of the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle (4.10pm) back in 2008, Willie Mullins has saddled the winner every year since.
Quevega famously won the race for six consecutive seasons, while Glens Melody picked up the pieces after Annie Power’s final flight spill 12 months ago.
Sadly, as hard as I’ve tried to find a mare to oppose the stable’s well-fancied VROUM VROUM MAG with on Tuesday afternoon, I just can’t see anything having the class to beat her.
Unbeaten in all eight starts for Mullins, the seven-year-old seems to take everything in her stride with such ease.
She faced her hardest task to date at Ascot back in January and put the race to bed with the minimum of fuss. If she was in another stable, she may well be contesting the Champion or World Hurdle.
At a best-priced 11/10 this morning, it could be argued that she still represents a bit of value, as she will be long odds-on if Min, Douvan and Annie Power all land their respective prizes before her.
On paper, her biggest threat should come from Nicky Henderson’s Polly Peachum who will be making her final racecourse start before retirement this afternoon.
She went agonisingly close 12 months ago, but it requires a big leap of faith to think she could beat Vroum Vroum Mag.
A bigger test may come from Harry Fry’s Bitofapuzzle who finished third last year.
The better ground will definitely help her and if rumours of a wind operation are true, she could give the favourite most to do.
Vroum Vroum Mag, 4.10pm Cheltenham