Grade One Mares Champion Hurdle Guide 2021

Punchestown - April 30 2021
Punchestown 14:20
2
Mr P W Mullins

Concertista

J:
 
Mr P W Mullins
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 7
Weight: 11-9
OR: 153
Days: 46

The seven year old for Simon Munir and Isaac Souede is lightly raced in Britain and Ireland, making her hurdles debut for the yard back in March 2019, when beaten a head in the Grade Two Mares Novices Hurdle at the Cheltenham festival.

Being very much a spring horse, this mare comes alive at the festival and last year having not set the world alight in Ireland, went back into the Grade Two Mares Novices Hurdle and took the event by an ever growing 12 lengths.

Having put up one of the performances of the meeting the yard, this year decided to aim her at this Grade One event and she has done nothing but improve all season.

She started her season off at Fairyhouse stepping up in trip for the first time and she saw off Minella Melody in impressive style to take the Grade Two event.

She last seen again in December at Leopardstown over 2m4f in the Grade Three Mares Hurdle and she emphatically brushed aside a smart field of mares.

Thought of as the Irish banker by many for the Cheltenham festival she was narrowly beaten in the Grade One Mares' Hurdle at the Cheltenham festival by Black Tears.

Although getting beat she still put up a superb performance and that looks the best form on offer.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
28/12/21LIM22.5Hy11-71
05/12/21COR16.5Sft11-21
01/05/21PUN20Gd/Y11-93
16/03/21CHL20Sft11-52
29/12/20LEO20Sft11-91
Punchestown - April 30 2021
Punchestown 14:20
9
Danny Mullins

Stormy Ireland

J:
 
Danny Mullins
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 7
Weight: 11-9
OR: 148
Days: 26

Stormy Ireland over the years for Willie Mullins has been a superb horse that took a big dip in form when going over to Paul Nicholls, but now back with the Closutton Maestro is back in top form.

Winning Listed and Grade Three events back in 2018 and 2019, and also chasing home smart horses in the mares events at the Cheltenham festival, the mares has had a successful career.

However, this term she massively lost her way, being started over fences for the first time at Newton Abbot and Bangor and getting beaten into second by average horses.

She then went back over hurdles in the Grade Two International Hurdle and only beat one runner home, with her looking like she had lost all enthusiasm for the sport.

On her final run for Nicholls she was slightly better finishing another second in a Listed event, but from the performances she used to produce it was clear lull in form.

Sold by Jared Sullivan and now with the FB Racing Club she got back to winning ways on her first start for Mullins back in Ireland.

She managed to see off the Likeable French Dynamite when winning the Grade Two Exchange Hurdle and if fully rejuvenated could be a live player.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
01/01/22CHL20.5Sft10-131
28/11/21FAI20Gd11-56
04/06/21DRO12.5GF9-42
01/05/21PUN20Gd/Y11-91
05/04/21FAI20Y11-31
Punchestown - April 30 2021
Punchestown 14:20
1
Brian Hayes

Burning Victory

J:
 
Brian Hayes
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 5
Weight: 11-9
OR: 144
Days: 414

Burning Victory is another runner for Willie Mullins, who has come from the flat and last year bounced onto the racing scene in a big way.

Making her hurdles debut in a Grade Three event at Fairyhouse and winning in fine style, she was pitched into the 2020 Grade One Triumph Hurdle and was a fortunate winner of the event.

If not for Goshen falling she would have finished a good second, but with the Gary Moore horse coming down at the last when clear, she jumped the last and went clear under Paul Townend.

She has been off with an injury setback since then and it is unsure just how fit she will be for this Grade One return.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
28/12/21LEO24Sft11-53
04/12/21NAV24.5Y11-90
09/10/21NMK18Gd9-12
26/08/21DEA16Gd9-71
29/07/21GAL16Gd10-57
Punchestown - April 30 2021
Punchestown 14:20
8
Jody McGarvey

Skyace

J:
 
Jody McGarvey
T:
 
John Joseph Hanlon
Age: 6
Weight: 11-9
OR: 140
Days: 27

The six year old was bought for next to nothing after running in three bumpers for Willie Mullins and placing in all three of the events.

She was then given to Shark Hanlon and on her debut over timber at Tipperary she got off to a winning start and backed that up straight after at Gowran with another smart win.

The mare has been raced frequently in such little time but has truly come into her own this term winning three of her last four events.

Having been tried over different staying trips and it not working out, Hanlon moved her back to 2m at Down Royal and at odds of 66/1 saw off Champion Bumper third Queen's Brook to land the Grade Three Mares Novice Hurdle.

She was next seen at Punchestown and although running in the thick fog, went on to land another superb event at odds at 28/1 taking the Listed Voler La Vedette Mares Novice Hurdle.

Having ran a cracker to finish fourth in the Grade Two Mares' Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham festival, she came out of the race well and headed to Fairyhouse where she stayed on to beat the Willie Mullins trained Gauloise to land the Grade One Mares' Novice Hurdle.

Having only cost £600, the mare has been one of the stories of the year and if progressing again is not without a chance.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
08/01/22SAN20Hy11-43
28/11/21FAI20Gd11-57
02/11/21FAI20Y11-54
29/07/21GAL16Gd10-9P
01/05/21PUN20Gd/Y11-9F
Punchestown - April 30 2021
Punchestown 14:20
5
Rachael Blackmore

Minella Melody

J:
 
Rachael Blackmore
T:
 
Henry De Bromhead
Age: 7
Weight: 11-9
OR: 142
Days: 46

Minella Melody for the Honeysuckle team of Henry De Bromhead and Kenneth Alexander is a horse that always promised so much, but never really fulfilled her full potential.

As a novice last term she won all three of her events prior to the Cheltenham festival, but unfortunately she was very below par in the Mares' Novices Hurdle, finishing near the back end of the 22 runners.

This season she has been consistent again on her way to the festival, finishing second on all three of her first three runs, however two were well behind Concertista and she looks unlikely for her to reverse once again.

She was last seen finishing a long way behind Concertista again in the Grade One Mares Hurdle at the Cheltenham festival when only beating three home into seventh.

Opposable.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
01/05/21PUN20Gd/Y11-92
16/03/21CHL20Sft11-57
29/12/20LEO20Sft11-72
28/11/20FAI19.5Sft11-52
25/10/20GAL20.5Sft11-22
Punchestown - April 30 2021
Punchestown 14:20
4
Sean Flanagan

Laurina

J:
 
Sean Flanagan
T:
 
C W J Farrell
Age: 8
Weight: 11-9
OR: N/A
Days: 161

Laurina was a horse with the world at her feet with Willie Mullins landing all six of her races over hurdles, including the Grade Two Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham festival and her first Grade One at Fairyhouse.

On course for the Champion Hurdle in 2019 she landed her first two races before running a poor race in the Grade One event, with it being said she bled through her nose during the race and since that day she has never been the same horse.

Having been sent chasing she landed her first ever attempt over the bigger obstacles, seeing off RSA second Minella Indo, but since then had flopped over fences and hurdles with her bleeding problem coming to the forefront again.

This season she was sent to Paul Nicholls and although the 12 time champion trainer had explained she had been hard to train, they believed that her bleeding problem was behind her and she was sent in to the Grade Two Ascot Hurdle.

In the three runner event she got lit up and although travelling strongly, faded very early and again it has come back she bled through her nostrils and it was the cause of her below par run.

It was said that the mare was to be retired but now back with trainer Cormac Farrell, they obviously think she can get back to somewhere near her best.

Worth watching.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
01/05/21PUN20Gd/Y11-96
21/11/20ASC19.5Sft10-73
19/02/20PUN20Hy11-03
01/02/20SAN20Sft10-11P
26/12/19LEO17Y11-5P
Punchestown - April 30 2021
Punchestown 14:20
6
B J Cooper

My Sister Sarah

J:
 
B J Cooper
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 7
Weight: 11-9
OR: 143
Days: 46

The final runner from the Mullins Brigade is My Sister Sarah, who is another type that offered so much as a youngster but has never hit the heights they thought she would.

She has been consistent for the most part of her career only being out of the front three on two of the last seven occasions.

She has been ran frequently this term, starting off in July at Galway and finishing fifth in a maiden, before quickly backing that up at the same track when second in a big fielded Handicap Hurdle, finishing behind Great White Shark, but ahead of Grade One winner Flooring Porter.

The mare then went on to land back to back seconds at Tramore and Galway again over two miles and 2m4f, before heading to Listowel and finishing third of seven in a weak event.

This highlight of her season to date was two starts ago when winning a Listed Mares Hurdle over at Limerick.

Next time out she was seen finishing fourth behind two runners in this field at Leopardstown over Christmas in the Grade Three Mares Hurdle.

Things did not get much better last time out when fifth in the Mares' Hurdle at Cheltenham and she looks unlikely to reverse the form.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
29/12/21LEO20Y/Sft11-46
22/11/21KEM24.5Gd11-21
10/10/21CUR16Y8-130
30/07/21GAL23Gd11-18
26/07/21GAL17Y/Sft11-06
Punchestown - April 30 2021
Punchestown 14:20
7
Conor Orr

Politesse

J:
 
Conor Orr
T:
 
Mrs Lorna Fowler
Age: 7
Weight: 11-9
OR: 124
Days: 154

This mare is exceptionally bred (related to Don Poli) and she boasts some fair form from her five starts in Ireland, but not at Grade One level.

On debut she finished third behind Longhouse Poet and Monkfish, which is form that has been advertised at the highest possible level, and she proved that was no fluke when finishing second in a Grade Two bumper at Leopardstown. 

The winner of that bumper went on to run in the big one in March and the third, fourth & sixth all picked up victories next time out. 

Following this, she won a Thurles bumper by 5 lengths before comfortably beating Gordon Elliott’s Fakiera on hurdling debut and that piece of form earlier on the season looked fairly strong, but not so much now.

Having made her seasonal debut at Down Royal and finishing fifth behind Queen's Brook and Skyace, she was sent to Newbury in a Listed event and was massively below par.

Having not been seen since that it suggests that a problem arose after the run and being lumped into a Grade One with that being her last run makes her very vulnerable.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
31/10/21COR20Hy10-9UR
30/05/21PUN20Sft11-41
01/05/21PUN20Gd/Y11-94
28/11/20NBY16.5Gd11-05
30/10/20DRO16.5Y/Sft10-125
Punchestown - April 30 2021
Punchestown 14:20
3

Global Equity

J:
 
T:
 
Joseph Patrick O'Brien
Age: 6
Weight: 11-9
OR: 125
Days: 2

The final runner of the Grade One is the Joseph O'Brien trained Global Equity, who is another horse that has been frequently raced this season and overall has not performed well enough in lesser races than this.

Having finished second at Fairyhouse in a Mares Maiden Hurdle behind the smart Roseys Hollow, she then backed that up at Leopardstown in the Dublin Racing Festival, again finishing runner up this time behind Heaven Help Us.

The Paul Hennessy trained mare went on to frank the form at the Cheltenham festival next time out when winning the Coral Cup by a wide margin.

Since then Global Equity has has not been able to back the form line up, finishing second to Atlantic Fairy in a Listed race but then being found out slightly behind most of these rivals on two different occasions.

She got back to winning ways at Limerick last time out in a Maiden event, but that is not strong enough form and needs a big career best to get involved.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
26/12/21LIM19.5Hy11-54
28/11/21FAI20Gd11-55
23/10/21GAL18.5Sft11-51
10/07/21LIM22Gd11-96
29/04/21PUN16Y11-62

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