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Cheltenham

  • 16:40 David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle 2m 4f

  • (Grade 2) £70,000 added 4yo+ 14 ran
  • Winner £39,431 2nd £14,854 3rd £7,434 4th £3,717
  • Going: Good (Good to Soft in places , Cross Country G/F,Good in places )
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 4m 48.20s
  • Off time: 16:40:52

Full result

16:40 Cheltenham Result 15th March 2011
Pos Draw Dist Horse Weight Jockey Trainer Age SP
1st Quevega (FR) 11-5 R Walsh W P Mullins 7 5/6f
Held up towards rear, headway after 7th, tracking leaders going well 3 out, went 2nd before next, led approaching last, soon clear, impressive opened 10/11 touched 10/11 £5500-£5000 £17000-£17000 £12000-£1200 £10000-£10000(x2) £5000-£5000(x2) £4000-£4000 £3000-£3000(x3) £2500-£2500(x2) £2000-£2000(x7) £1000-£1000(x4) £5000-£5500 £4000-£4400 £3000-£3300(x2) £2000-£2200(x7) £1000-£1100(x5) £1000-£1200
2nd 10 Sparky May 11-5 K Burke P R Rodford 6 4/1
Held up in rear, took keen hold, blundered 2nd, headway approaching 6th, went 2nd when not fluent 7th, led when not fluent 2 out, driven and headed approaching last, stayed on, no chance with winner opened 4/1 touched 9/2 £20000-£5000 £6000-£1500 £7000-£2000
3rd 1 Ocean Transit (IRE) 11-0 D Bass R J Price 6 50/1
Held up in rear, ridden after 6th, headway under pressure approaching 2 out, stayed on flat, went 3rd near finish, no chance with winner opened 50/1 touched 50/1
4th ½ Alasi 11-0 D Elsworth P R Webber 7 33/1
Held up in rear, took keen hold, headway 3 out, chased leading pair after 2 out, hit last, stayed on same pace, lost 3rd near finish opened 33/1 touched 33/1
5th Stephanie Kate (IRE) 11-0 P Carberry C F Swan 5 50/1
Held up towards rear, some progress when hampered after 7th, soon not clear run and lost place, stayed on from 2 out and kept on flat, never troubled leaders opened 50/1 touched 50/1
6th L'accordioniste (IRE) 11-0 P J Brennan N A Twiston-Davies 6 8/1
Mid-division, not fluent 4th, headway approaching 6th, ridden after 3 out, never reached leaders, weakened last opened 9/1 touched 9/1 £9000-£1000 £5000-£550
7th 1 Banjaxed Girl 11-5 S Twiston-Davies N A Twiston-Davies 7 8/1
Led, ridden and headed approaching 2 out, weakened before last opened 11/1 touched 11/1
8th Santera (IRE) 11-0 R P Flint J L Flint 7 40/1
Tracked leaders, ridden and lost place after 7th, effort after 3 out, no impression from next opened 40/1 touched 40/1 £60000-£600
9th Miss Overdrive 11-0 Nick Scholfield Andrew Turnell 7 100/1
Chased leaders, ridden 6th, soon lost place, stayed on flat, no chance opened 100/1 touched 100/1
10th 6 Alegralil 11-5 J M Maguire D McCain Jnr 6 40/1
Held up in touch, ridden and chasing leaders approaching 3 out, lost place before next, soon weakened opened 40/1 touched 40/1
11th 6 La Vecchia Scuola (IRE) 11-0 G Lee J S Goldie 7 20/1
Held up towards rear on inside, well beaten approaching 2 out opened 16/1 touched 20/1 £20000-£1000
12th Princess Rainbow (FR) 11-0 A O'keeffe Jennie Candlish 6 200/1
Took keen hold, mid-division on outside after 2nd, closed 5th, ridden after 7th, weakening when mistake 3 out opened 200/1 touched 200/1
13th ¾ Lonesome Dove (IRE) 11-0 D J Casey C F Swan 6 100/1
Held up towards rear, mistake 4th, behind from 6th opened 100/1 touched 100/1
14th ¾ Silver Gypsy (IRE) 11-0 S Quinlan K C Bailey 6 25/1
Pressed leader, ridden after 7th, weakened approaching 3 out opened 33/1 touched 33/1 £10000-£400

Betting breakdown

Tote Win: £1.80 Tote Place: £1.10,1.80,12.30
Straight Forecast: £3.79 Exacta: £4.30 Trifecta: £246.80 Swingers: 1&2:1.50 2&3:40.30 1&3:21.80

Jackpot: £142,083.50, Pool: £200117.69, 1.0 winning tickets
Placepot: £60.60, Pool: £970517.56, 11686.68 winning tickets
Quadpot: £9.30, Pool: £40783.77, 3221.34 winning tickets

Verdict

A performance that oozed class as QUEVEGA had no difficulty in landing a third consecutive renewal of this relatively new addition to the Festival. Ruby Walsh was coolness personified on her as the pair merrily popped their hurdles towards the rear of the field. As the front-runners Banjaxed Girl and Silver Gypsy came back to the field before the downhill run, and Sparky May pulled her way to the lead, Walsh was still content to keep a hold of his mare. It was easy to see why, as when Sparky May clattered several late hurdles, the fluent jumping of the winner came to the fore and she drew almost alongside her only feasible rival turning in. She pinged the last couple of flights as if she'd only just joined in, and with a pat of the neck and a stroke of the ears from her jockey, she crossed the line with acres to spare. Her trainer Willie Mullins reports that she might take on the boys at Aintree next, which will be a real treat, and if he is right in his assessment that she was short of a gallop, then it will take a very very good horse to lower her colours. Further ahead her sporting racing owners may see no reason as to why she cannot come back and win this race again next year, as she is so obviously in a different league to her same sex rivals. The runner-up Sparky May was very keen in the early stages and Keiran Burke did ever so well to retain the partnership at the second flight of hurdles when she took off far too early and made a serious mistake. Her jockey did well to cling on and she accordingly ran a career-best in second, especially as her hurdling (which had been so good at Ascot) subsequently went to pieces. Third spot went to Ocean Transit who was under pressure a long way out but ran on up the hill for a fantastic podium finish, in the process nicking that spot from Alasi who paid the price for pulling too hard in the early stages. Stephanie Katie was hampered at the seventh and suffered another bit of interference so she did well to finish in fifth, just ahead of L'accordioniste who looks a three mile mare. Stablemate Banjaxed Girl had no response when headed, having been taken on by Silver Gypsy for the lead at halfway. Santera took a false step at the top of the hill and may rate slightly better than her run accordingly, certainly better than Alegralil and La Vecchia Scuola who both laboured to finish 11th and 12th respectively.