16:50 Cheltenham - Mares Chase
This is a very competitive renewal of the Mares’ Chase, headed in the betting by the ever alluring Elimay. The grey mare was just narrowly denied by Colreevy in this race last year. She hated every second of the Mares’ Chase at Aintree and just went down to Mount Ida at Fairyhouse. She duly obliged at Naas in February and despite her shaky season, she still has to be given consideration.
Mount Ida came from a mile back to win last year’s renewal of the Kim Muir and has taken rather well to chasing. She stands a very good chance on her form but with such fine margins between them all, her tendency to jump out to her right could prove to be her undoing today.
Concertista has raced three times at the Cheltenham Festival, placing twice and winning the other. She has won both her starts over fences and has been lightly campaigned. She is the main danger today as she has no chinks in her armour. She probably deserves to just edge the favouritism in the betting, ahead of the aforementioned two.
Zambella does not deserve to be double figures. She started the season off well, finishing fourth in a Mares’ Hurdle, behind subsequent Cheltenham Mares’ Hurdle victor, Marie’s Rock. She went to Aintree and absolutely relished every yard of the race, leaving Elimay well behind. She might have found the two miles a tad fast at Leicester but won her third Mares’ Chase, last time out, in striking fashion. Moreover, she was travelling very well in this race last year, when she fell three fences from home. She could be value against the three Irish favourites.
written by Kieran McHugh