MARES NOVICES’ HURDLE

The Ryanair Mares Novices’ Hurdle is registered as the Dawn Run Mares Novices’ Hurdle, named after the legendary mare.

In 2023 the race will be called the Jack de Bromhead Mares Novices' Hurdle in memory of the son of trainer Henry de Bromhead, who tragically died in a pony racing accident.

It was introduced in 2016 as an alternative option to the Close Brothers Mares' Hurdle for novice fillies and mares.

Grade 2 | 4yo+ novices | Thursday 16.50 
2 miles 1 furlong | 8 hurdles | New Course
Weight: 10st 9lb (4yo) / 11st 2lb (5yo+)
Prize money (2022): £105,000 | 1st: £59,084

Its addition to the Cheltenham Festival was one of various measures introduced to bolster the numbers of jumping mares in training.

There are penalties of 5lb for winners of a Class 1 hurdle, or 3lb for winners of a Class 2 hurdle or a Class 1 handicap hurdle.

Willie Mullins trained the first 5 winners
5/7 winners rated in the 140s
3/7 favourites won
Updated to include 2022 renewal

Just like with the Close Brothers Mares' Hurdle on Day 1, Willie Mullins has dominated this race - winning the first five (all with horses rated in the 140s).

He has had a total of 29 runners in the seven renewals thus far, including a 1-2 in 2019 and a remarkable 1-2-4-5 in 2020.

However, he's saddled a total of 10 entries in the last two runnings with just one placed.

Nicky Henderson has yet to win the Mares Novices’ Hurdle (11 runners), including hot favourite Epatante who was 9th in 2019 - the year before winning the Champion Hurdle.

But his 50/1 shot, Ahorsewithnoname, finished second in 2022.

LAST 5 WINNERS’ DATA

YEAR
AGE
OFFICIAL RATING
WEIGHT
2022
6
135
11-7
2021
6
136
11-2
2020
6
141
11-2
2019
5
141
11-2
2018
5
144
11-7

PREVIOUS WINNERS

YEAR
WINNER
JOCKEY / TRAINER
SP
2022
Love Envoi
Jonathan Burke / Harry Fry
15/2
2021
Telmesomethinggirl
Rachael Blackmore / Henry de Bromhead
5/1
2020
Concertista
Daryl Jacob / Willie Mullins
9/2
2019
Eglantine Du Seuil
Noel Fehily / Willie Mullins
50/1
2018
Laurina
Paul Townend / Willie Mullins
4/7f
2017
Let’s Dance
Ruby Walsh / Willie Mullins
11/8f
2016
Limini
Ruby Walsh / Willie Mullins
8/11f

Love Envoi retained her unbeaten record to win the Mares Novices' Hurdle in 2022.

She is owned by the Noel Fehily Racing Syndicate, headed by the former jumps jockey (who landed this race on Eglantine Du Deauil before retiring in 2019):

‘WHAT A PERFORMANCE. IT WAS NERVE-RACKING STUFF. SHE IS SO TOUGH AND WOULDN’T KNOW WHEN TO GIVE UP’

Telmesomethinggirl came home five and a half lengths clear of stable companion Magic Daze in a 1-2 for trainer Henry de Bromhead in 2021:

‘WE ARE VERY LUCKY TO HAVE GOOD MARES LIKE THEM AND GETTING TREMENDOUS SUPPORT FROM OUR OWNERS’

Runner-up in 2019, Concertista bolted up a year later despite still being a maiden:

It was a memorable 1-2 for Willie Mullins in 2019, with Eglantine Du Seuil and Concertista going off at 50/1 and 66/1 respectively.

The winner had been off the track since the previous September, while the runner-up was making her hurdling debut:

Laurina lived up to her reputation to fully justify odds of just 4/7 in 2018, winning by 18 lengths despite an error at the last: