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Mares Hurdle: Can Quevega make it six of the best?

History seems to repeat itself with Quevega. Every year she rocks up to Cheltenham having not seen her since the previous year.

She is always weak in the market despite everyone that I know making her their banker of the meeting. And then she always wins, to the delight of her followers.

Will this occurrence happen for an unprecedented sixth time? It’s got to be a big fat yes.

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She is the 8/11 favourite and remains the one to beat yet again this year and is prepared to become the first horse to win the same race six times at a Festival and that looks very likely indeed now that Mullins has chosen to play her only real threat Annie Power with the boys.

Quevega was only five when she won her first Mares Hurdle title in 2009 and having raced just 10 times since with only one arduous battle so there is plenty of steam left in her yet.

What makes me more confident than ever that she’ll deliver the goods once again was the fact last year’s performance was without question her best performance of her career. She seems to be improving, which is pretty scary.

When she encountered some trouble at the top of the hill after clipping a rival’s heel, many were tearing up their betting slips. However, Ruby Walsh is nothing if not calm on a hurdler at the Festival and Walsh slowly allowed her to quicken her pace in her own time, even falling as far back to eighth place at one point.

Although this was her hardest fight out of all five of her wins, she was in fourth place before darting up the hill enthusiastically which what we have come to know from Quevega. Without the error, I’m certain she would have been in Our Conor territory in terms of superiority on the day.

Mullins deserves huge praise for his successes with Quevega as she is far from easy to train, what with the earplugs and a temperament that would make the wife when she is at that time of the month look like an angel.

She is highly thought of against her peers due to her willingness to battle in the field and her slick jumping. This is was also noticed at Punchestown against the boys, where she has won four times, which in reality is an even greater achievement than her quintet of successes at Cheltenham.

Quevega is currently rated at 164 and there is nothing around this mark in the opposition so the price is very much right.

Lump on.

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