Cheltenham Tips | 16:10 Mares Hurdle | 15th March 2016 | C4


VROUM Vroum Mag is a strong favourite in the Mares Hurdle. Is she backable? We asked Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) for his view.

16:10 Cheltenham | Channel 4

This race has been a nightmare for ante-post punters with Annie Power being diverted from it to run in the Champion Hurdle and her stablemate Vroum Vroum Mag has stepped in to replace her. She is a short priced favourite here, but is she any value?

Twenty mares line up for this, and despite the big field it's not a particularly high class renewal. Apart from the favourite most of these are very in and out performers and it's one of those races that doesn't overly appeal as a betting heat.

Polly Peachum was second here last year and is one of the few runners here who shows real consistency. She has come in the first two in eight of her last nine starts and I expect her to run her usual solid race, however I don't think she will win this.

The Govaness would have finished much closer to Vroum Vroum Mag last time out but for a mistake at the second last, however her best form comes on softer ground and I expect her to struggle for speed here.

Aurore D'Estruval is a classy mare, however she has not been at her best this season and I'm not convinced she is at her best over this sort of trip. Her class could see her go close, but she's not a betting proposition for me.

Bitofapuzzle looked good over fences earlier in the season however after unseasting with the race at her mercy in Ireland two starts ago she ran no sort of race last time out. I was hugely disappointed with her that day and despite coming third in this race last year she isn't one to fully trust.

Vroum Vroum Mag lines up a short priced favourite and she deserves to be. The winner of all eight starts since joining Willie Mullins she has mixed up hurdling and chasing with real success.

She has yet to be seriously tested in the UK and Ireland and her last win saw her win a Mares Hurdle at Ascot with ease. She still has questions to answer as the ground here is quicker than she has encountered and it's a slightly stronger race, however she should handle the ground and the step up in class with ease and I make her a confident selection here.

Best Bets

16:10 Cheltenham – Vroum Vroum Mag to win (1/1 Ladbrokes)

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About Author

I grew up watching Hearts games with my dad and playing football at every opportunity so betting on it was the logical next step! Football coupons became a Saturday ritual and it introduced me into the world of horse racing. I started watching it on a regular basis, and after Galileo's Derby win in 2001 I was hooked. I follow both flat and national hunt racing attending the northern meetings when possible.

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