Quevega goes into the OLBG Mares Hurdle this year looking to become the first horse since Golden Miller to win five races at the Cheltenham races 2013.
After success in the same race in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, Willie Mullins’ mare is back again looking to regain her crown on the opening day at Prestbury Park.
As she has done in the past three seasons, Quevega will be having her opening run of the campaign at Cheltenham which will be her first outing since winning the World Series Hurdle in April. She came home the 11/10 favourite at Punchestown where she made it 2 from2 from her season.
A similar route is expected again following her outing next month. However, it is unclear at this stage as to whether she will attempt to win two races at the Festival with the possibility of her lining up in the World Hurdle following the withdrawal of Big Bucks through injury.
Opposition to Quevega this year include last year’s runner up Kentford Grey Lady, although she was disappointing on her prep run at Haydock on Saturday.
Nicky Henderson’s Une Artiste will be taking on the reigning champion for the very first time. She was a surprise winner of the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle last year as she came home at 40/1. Since then she has won twice this season with successes at Wetherby and Sandown.
It also looks like the mares only race will be the target of Unaccompanied this time around. She missed the Festival 12 months ago but she did finish second in the Triumph Hurdle in 2011 behind Zarkandar.
She comes into the race after finishing a respectable second against the opposite sex in the Istabraq Festival Hurdle, which was won by Hurricane Fly. She had both Thousand Stars and Captain Cee Bee behind her at Leopardstown.
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