Mares’ Chase Tips: Two picks for Friday’s penultimate contest

 | March 14 | 

5 mins read

Mares chase tips

The Cheltenham Festival's newest race is the Grade 2 Liberthine Mares' Chase, run over two-miles-four-and-a-half-furlongs and the penultimate contest of the entire meeting.

In three stagings Willie Mullins has dominated with two wins and a second, though Impervious for Colm Murphy denied him last time around by out-battling Allegorie De Vassy up the hill.

Betfred will be offering a price boost on Friday’s race, so keep your eyes peeled from 11:00.

Mares' Chase Tips

  • Allegorie De Vassy @ 9/2
  • Riviere D'Etel @ 18/1

Runners

Dinoblue (Willie Mullins/Mark Walsh) EVS

Only found Maskada too strong in the Grand Annual at this meeting last spring and improved form since, winning four on the spin in Ireland including a Grade 1 at Christmas when Wednesday's Champion Chase second Gentleman De Mee played second fiddle. Creditable second to El Fabiolo at the DRF since, but this trip is going to test her stamina. Holds the best form.

Allegorie De Vassy (Willie Mullins/Paul Townend) 9/2

Looked all over the winner in this race last year as they jumped the last but stout stayer Impervious battled back to remain unbeaten over fences and won again at Punchestown. New Year's Day comeback was tame but put that right since at Naas (2m, heavy) and there is a chance she could outstay the favourite.

Harmonya Maker (Gordon Elliott/Jordan Gainford) 40/1

All wins on heavy and soft ground, the latest in a Grade 2 over 2m4f at Thurles in January, but she has been beaten since by Marsh Wren at the same venue and could have no quibbles about it.

Brides Hill (Gavin Cromwell/Sean Flanagan) 9/1

She's 3-3 this season, improving all the while, and won a Listed contest at Huntingdon (2m4f, good to soft) in January in good style. This is the acid test but she's in the mix.

Carole's Pass (Amy Murphy/Jonjo O'Neill Jr) 33/1

Well behind Limerick Lace at Doncaster in December and unseated as Brides Hill won at Huntingdon in January, but the best of her chasing efforts came at Exeter (3m, heavy) last month in winning a Listed contest with Kestrel Valley and Pink Legend behind. Big step up in class now.

Instit (Willie Mullins/Danny Mullins) 40/1

She has a verdict over Allegorie De Vassy on her CV from Fairyhouse (2m5½f, soft) last spring, but is 0-3 this term and yet to really get close to that same stablemate in any of those races. Needs to arrest the decline.

Kestrel Valley (Nigel Twiston-Davies/Sam Twiston-Davies) 80/1

Front-runner in all four chase starts since joining this trainer from Kerry Lee. She won minor events at Hereford and Ludlow in fine style, but Carole's Pass picked her off readily at Exeter (3m, heavy) last time as she faded to third. Up against it on the ratings.

Limerick Lace (Gavin Cromwell/Keith Donoghue) 7/2

Walk In The Park mare was behind Instit and Allegorie De Vassy at Fairyhouse on final start last season but has shown improved form this term. Second in Navan's Troytown (3m, soft to heavy) off a mark of 141 either side of wins at Clonmel and Doncaster. Did it very easily on Town Moor in December despite ploughing through the penultimate fence but, like a few of these, this will be the acid test.

Marsh Wren (Stuart Edmunds/Ciaran Gethings) 20/1

Rapid improver over fences this season and has shown some real guts in winning three of four starts. Usually does it the hard way from the front and will relish any cut in the ground. Went to Ireland last month to plunder a Listed novice contest, a fine effort, but is now facing the most talented mares she's come across.

Pink Legend (Venetia Williams/Charlie Deutsch) 66/1

A C&D winner who has been placed in the last two runnings of this contest, she won at Newbury in December and perhaps the defeat behind Limerick Lace at Doncaster nine days later came too soon. Fell in the race Brides Hill won at Huntingdon in January and pulled up as Carole's Pass scored at Exeter and so will do well to repeat her previous effors in this race.

Riviere D'Etel (Gordon Elliott/Jack Kennedy) 18/1

She was very unlucky when falling three out in this last year (hampered) and has figures of 2122 this season over fences in Ireland. She beat Allegorie De Vassy over 2m5½f on New Year's Day and the drop in trip next time behind that rival at Thurles probably no help. Sound second since in Gowran Park Grade 2 behind 159-rated Saint Sam and no backmarker back at a meeting where she always gives her running. Jumps to the right at times.

Verdict

Allegorie De Vassy @ 9/2 & Riviere D'Etel @ 18/1

Dinoblue is the very obvious one here, given her Grade 1-winning form in Ireland this season, but there is a query in regards to her stamina and, at such a short price, that is enough to look elsewhere.

Stablemate ALLEGORIE DE VASSY travelled like a winner in this race 12 months ago and jumped to the lead at the last, only for the sheer willpower of Impervious to overcome her. It couldn't be said she didn't stay, and if she's there at the last again now, Paul Townend's partner might inflict a similar dose on the favourite.

Allegorie de vassy to win 16.50 Cheltenham at 9-2

This looks a benefit for Ireland and, while Brides Hill should go well, RIVIERE D'ETEL is a fair shout for a place at the prices. She does tend to jump to the right, but has locked horns with some quality geldings (including Ferny Hollow, Galopin Des Champs and Captain Guinness) in her time, twice finishing second to Wednesday's Champion Chase winner.

Her form this season is pleasing and she was moving quite nicely in this last year when desperately unlucky to depart at the third last jump.

Riviere D'Etel to win 16.50 Cheltenham at 18-1

Find more Cheltenham Tips here at Betfred Insights.

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