The Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle will give us an insight into just how good the short-price favourite is. Plenty think that Luccia is the real deal and a dominating performance on Thursday could confirm that…

Nicky Henderson sends out five-year-old Luccia with many in the sport not wondering whether she’ll win but just how impressive she’ll look in doing so. This mare hasn’t been remotely challenged yet in her short career but has looked classy every single time we’ve seen her take to the track.

The 13/8 available at the time of writing feels massive when you consider it looks to be not the best renewal of the race and we might be witnessing the first steps of a glorious Cheltenham career. There are 20 other horses entered and that might be why the price isn’t even shorter.

As you’d fully expect, Willie Mullins has an entry and once more is rather heavily fancied but when the second favourite is out at 6/1 with the top choice in at 13/8, that says plenty. Lot Of Joy was a winner at an incredibly short price last time out but has been beaten twice at very short odds in her past three. Not been in a field with the likes of Luccia yet.

You Wear It Well and Haika Du Tabert are both available at 10s at the time of writing. The former actually looked best when finishing second behind a good looking horse in Hermes Allen back on NY Eve in the Grade I Challow Novices’ Hurdle. The latter hasn’t impressed me as much.

Got to mention the undefeated Magical Zoe at 14s but this is a real step up in class and Rachael Blackmore will pilot 16/1 shot Foxy Girl for Henry De Bromhead. No doubt she’ll see some money due to her jockey but she does have the second best Racing Post Rating in the field.

Inspiratrice and Still Ciel are the longshots priced up at 100/1.

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