Nick Wilby takes a look at the 2010 David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle.
4.40 – David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle
2m4f - Grade 2
The last race on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival, the David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle looks like being a match-up between last year’s winner QUEVEGA (2/1, Ladbrokes) and Go Native-conquering mare Voler La Vedette (7/4, Paddy Power).
Quevega has not been seen since the Prix La Barkahere in May but it is hard to forget her bloodless victory in this twelve months ago and her fourteen length victory over United lives long in the memory. Trainer Willie Mullins assures her supporters that she is in fine form despite her lack of run and she is a mare that has always gone well fresh.
Voler La Vedette arrives at Cheltenham in search of a five-timer and it has to argue that she looked anything other than awesome when slamming Champion Hurdle favourite Go Native at Down Royal in November. That was an impressive performance but Noel Meade is adamant that his multiple Grade One-winning superstar was far from race fit in November and it is difficult to picture the mare beating a fully wound up Go Native. The form shouldn’t be taken too seriously and it may be that Quevega has too much in the locker for Colm Murphy’s six-year-old.
Former French raider Sway (14/1, Bet365) may prove to be best of the rest and she remains an exciting proposition despite her fall when travelling with promise in a Grade Two at Fontwell last time out.
Nick Wilby's selection - Quevega (2/1, Ladbrokes)
Stan James are offering their customers a free £25 bet on the 2010 Cheltenham Festival, sign up with the firm here and use the bonus code MAXIMUMBONUS.