David Nicholson Mares Hurdle Quevega now clear favourite

This is one of the recently established races of the Festival since it was made into a four-day format. It was originally run on Gold Cup day until 2009 when it was moved to the opening day.

The fifth race of the day on the Tuesday is the OLBG David Nicholson Mares Hurdle it is one of the newest races added to the Cheltenham Festival. Established in 2009, the race has been a huge hit as the top mares in the country do battle over two miles around Prestbury Park.

It’s run in the memory of legendary trainer David Nicholson, whose legacy at the Cheltenham Festival has lived on through the running of this unique type of race – the first of its kind that is strictly for mares.

Nicholson, who died in 2006, had a glittering career both as a jockey and later as a trainer, and thrived when the Cheltenham Festival came around.

As a jockey he was a hard but fair rider that carved out a remarkable career for himself despite not being associated with one of the big stables at the time. He enjoyed five Cheltenham wins between 1963 and 1973 but is more famously remembered for his 17 achievements as a trainer.

It is perhaps fitting that a true champion has reigned supreme in this race for the last four seasons and looks set to come back once again to try and make it a fabulous five straight wins. Legendary mare Quevega is due to line up again this year and it’s safe to predict she will be many people’s Festival banker once again.

To see whether the 10/11 shot can create Festival history then watching the action via online bookmaker BetVictor.

Their application through the IPhone offers live video streaming of all Racing UK and At The Races race courses, which obviously includes all the races at the this year’s Cheltenham Festival.

All you need to do to access the live feeds is to sign up to an account with BetVictor, which is free, place a minimum of £1 on the Cheltenham Festival race you want to watch, and the stream will be available to you as soon as you place the bet.

Obviously, with any live video streaming service punters will need to be in a good 3G area or possess a strong Wi-Fi connection to fully view the race with added commentary.

As previously stated in recent years the David Nicholson Mares Hurdle has just been about one mare – Quevega – who is the outstanding mare of her generation and maybe of all-time. She has moped up this division and this race for the last four seasons and there is nothing to suggest she won’t do the same in 2013.

There had been talk after last year’s success that connections of the horse were tempted to switch the mare to take on the World Hurdle this season but Mullins quickly dampened those rumours.

It would add an extra spice if she was to take on the boys but maybe she will next season when she once again rules supreme in this race. Bookmakers have her at just 10/11 even at the ante-post stage of betting.

What is remarkable about her though is that she doesn’t need a prep run in order to show her best form. Mullins will rest her throughout the winter and have her spot on for the Festival, so anyone thinking that fitness will be an issue will be disappointed.

Potential challengers are thin on the ground again, with many connections scared off entering their mares in the race because of the brilliance of Mullins’ superstar. However, one that might make a race of it this season is the Nicky Henderson-trained Une Artiste, who won the Triumph Hurdle last season.

She is 7/1 with BetVictor to deny Quevega her place in history.


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