The Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle, one of the weakest non-handicaps at the festival, can go to improving Irish mare Honeysuckle.
HONEYSUCKLE – 7-2 with bet365 and Betvictor (nrnb). 4.50pm Cheltenham Thursday 14th March.
This will only be the fourth running of the Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle, a race not to everybody’s taste at the Cheltenham Festival but an interesting contest all the same. Won by Champion Hurdle hope Laurina 12 months ago, the other two renewals also won by Irish trainer Willie Mullins, but the Closutton maestro will struggle to make it four in a row as of his entry of thirteen the shortest priced contender is Sancta Simona, a 16-1 chance with William Hill in their ante-post Cheltenham betting odds.
The partnership of Irish trainer Henry De Bromhead and owner Kenny Alexander hold a strong hand with the unbeaten Honeysuckle, a 7-2 chance with bet365 and Betvictor (nrnb), and dual scorer Sinoria, available at a standout 12-1 with William Hill. The former has looked good in winning all three hurdle starts, the most recent being a six length victory in a Grade 3 contest at Fairyhouse. The daughter of Sulamani has yet to be extended and looks an exciting prospect.
"She did it the hard way and has done nothing wrong. She is unbeaten in three starts now and over every sort of a trip. I'd hope she'll run in the mares' novice at Cheltenham and I think she's entitled to go there but it's still a long way away." Henry de Bromhead – Honeysuckle.— Irishracing.com Live (@IrishRacing365) December 22, 2018
Sinoria only had three quarters of a length to spare in winning a Punchestown Listed hurdle last time but the runner-up has gone on to win a Grade 2 affair since then for trainer Gordon Elliott so the form looks strong. Whether the six-year-old is capable of beating her stablemate is debatable but the mare has certainly earned her chance in the 2m 1f Grade 2.
A really nice debut from Honeysuckle in the Mares Maiden today at Fairyhouse.— Jake Price (@JakePriceTips) November 14, 2018
She looks a smart one for Henry De Bromhead. https://t.co/PJiaw2E5Ab
The JP McManus-owned and Nicky Henderson-trained Epatante heads the betting on 5-2 with bet365(nrnb) following easy wins at Kempton and Exeter. But those wins came at odds of 8-15 and 1-6 so just how strong the form turns out to be is questionable, and certainly not as strong as that posted by the De Bromhead pair. Elusive Belle and Lust For Life also represent the Seven Barrows handler who looks the chief threat to an Irish victory along with Posh Trish from the Paul Nicholls stable.