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Mares' Novices' Hurdle 2023 Tips - Two each-way selections on St Patrick's day

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Last updated: 04 Mar 2023
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Jon Vine 04 Mar 2023
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  • Tips, odds and predictions for the 2023 Mares' Novices Hurdle
  • This Grade Two takes place at 4:50pm on day three of the Cheltenham Festival
  • Magical Zoe and Mullenbeg feature in our selections
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mares' novices hurdle cheltenham
Love Envoi winning last year's Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle. (Getty)

The penultimate race on day three of the Cheltenham Festival is the Mares' Novies Hurdle. Several classy mares have claimed victory in this Grade Two during it's short history and this year's renewal promises to provide plenty of entertainment.

Here's our free guide and tips for the 2023 Mares' Novies Hurdle.

Cheltenham 2023 Tips - Mares' Novies Hurdle 2023 Guide


Mares' Novices' Hurdle 2023 Odds


Name
Odds
Luccia13/8
Ashroe Diamond3/1
Night And Day5/1
Lots Of Joy8/1
You Wear It Well8/1
Magical Zoe10/1
Bar12/1

Mares' Novices' Hurdle 2023 Runners

I knew going into last year's race that the leaders always go too fast in the Mares' Novices' Hurdle. Every winner prior to 2022 had been held up in midfield or dropped out to come with a late run. Despite having this knowledge in my armory, I got sucked into backing Dinoblue, who had looked very impressive when making all on debut. Willie Mullins' mare was too keen again when she rocked up at Cheltenham and consequently failed to get up the hill as Love Envoi claimed victory.

Lot Of Joy has been a bit keen in all of her hurdles starts, so it wouldn't be a surprise if she helped make the running. Halka Du Tabert is a front-runner. Foxy Girl didn't hang about when she won at Limerick. You Wear It Well made all during her three victories and Jamie Snowden's mare will be keen to try and turn this race into a strong test of stamina. 

Luccia has settled well behind a lead on both of her starts over hurdles, kicking clear to win emphatically at Newbury and Exeter. Apparently, Nico De Boinville said immediately after their victory at Exeter that Luccia would go close in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle. Henderson's mare could be the class act in this field. Yet, in a race that can often become attritional, I don't fancy taking the 13/8 that's currently on offer.

Willie Mullins' leading contender in the betting is Ashroe Diamond, who suffered a life-threatening injury following her bumper victory at Aintree last season. Ashroe Diamond placed third in both the Royal Bond and the Future Champions at Leopardstown, before claiming a Grade Three victory against her fellow mares in a Grade Three at Fairyhouse. Ashroe Diamond may bring the strongest form into this race, but I haven't been that impressed with her jumping thus far and I think she might be outclassed by a rival who's open to further improvement.

Mares' Novices Hurdle 2023 Tip 1

With a rapid early pace all but guaranteed, backing a hold-up horse is clearly the way to go. One who fits that profile perfectly is MAGICAL ZOE, who's unbeaten in three starts for the winner of this race two years ago, Henry De Bromhead.

Having bolted up on her sole bumper start at Cork back in March, Magical Zoe began life over hurdles with an effortless victory at Cork last September. De Bromhead's mare then carried odds of 18/1 into the winners' enclosure at Down Royal in November, where Magical Zoe came through to win the Grade Three Mares' Novices' Hurdle.

Adrian Heskin didn't get a smooth passage through that race and was almost taken out by the wayward Liberty Dance two from home. When Heskin asked his mount for an effort, Magical Zoe clicked into top gear quickly, passing The Model Kingdom and Nikini to claim an impressive one-length victory.

The form of that Grade Three has worked out well since, with the third, fifth and sixth all coming out and winning Listed races. Henry De Bromhead said during his stable tour that Magical Zoe has been trained for this race since that victory at Down Royal, so I'm not worried at all about the 132-day absence.

Mares' Novices' Hurdle 2023 Tip 2

I'm also keen to take a chance on MULLENBEG, following an excellent run against the geldings in the Adonis Hurdle at Kempton.

Milton Harris' mare thrashed You Wear It Well in a bumper at Ludlow last January, before following up in the Listed flat race on Trials Day at Cheltenham, where Mullenbeg swept home from the rear to eventually win by eight widening lengths.

Harris ran his mare six times during the first half of the season. Mullenbeg was beaten at short prices on her first two hurdles starts, before claiming three successive victories at Plumpton, Fakenham and Ludlow. Jonny Burke's mount was well-beaten in a handicap at Cheltenham's December meeting, where Mullenbeg was held up out wide behind a slow pace and was deeply inconvenienced when the field had to navigate around the final flight.

On her return after a 78-day absence, Mullenbeg was understandably keen in the early knockings at Kempton. As Rubaud kicked for home turning in, Mullenbeg powered through the field to mount a challenge and did well to get within a length-and-a-half of the winner as they crossed the line.

Harris' six-year-old clearly takes her racing well, so there's every chance she'll improve for that run in the Adonis. Mullenbeg is a proven winner here at Cheltenham racecourse and she should settle much better behind a faster early pace.

Verdict

Magical Zoe and Mullenbeg are our two selections in this year's Mares' Novices' Hurdle.

2023 Mares' Novices' Hurdle Tip 1: Magical Zoe Each-Way @10/1 at BetUK - 10 Units
2023 Mares' Novices' Hurdle Tip 2: Mullenbeg Each-Way @33/1 at BetUK - 5 Units
Magical Zoe
Each-Way
@10/1 - 10 Units

Bet at BetUK
Mullenbeg
Each-Way
@33/1 - 5 Units

Bet at BetUK

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