Listed Houghton Mares' Chase Aintree Guide 2023

Joe Glayshier | @joeglayshier

Aintree - December 09 2023
Aintree 12:55
Charlie Deutsch

Pink Legend

J: Charlie Deutsch
T: Venetia Williams
Age: 9
Weight: 11-6
OR: 144
Days: 227

Venetia Williams sends one runner to this Listed event at Aintree on Saturday over 2m 3f in the form of her mare Pink Legend. The nine-year-old makes her seasonal reappearance here after signing off for the season last term by winning the Listed Maid Of Perth Mares' Chase at Perth over 2m 7f by over seven lengths to Miad O'Malley.

That capped a pretty good season for the mare, which included finishes of third in the Grade One Mares' Chase at Cheltenham in March as well as winning a Listed chase over three miles at Exeter back in February.

Williams has been in good form of late with her runners, and it would be a surprise to not see Pink Legend in with a shout of victory in this one on reappearance. The 144-rated mare is one of the leading players in this small field, with Charlie Deutsch doing the steering.

Aintree - December 09 2023
Aintree 12:55
Daryl Jacob


J: Daryl Jacob
T: Nigel Twiston-Davies
Age: 8
Weight: 11-6
OR: 142
Days: 267

Nigel Twiston-Davies boasts one of his horses in the Listed Houghton Mares' Chase at Aintree with his eight-year-old Zambella. Much like Pink Legend, the mare had a good season last year as well, winning this contest by 14 lengths to Maid O'Malley, followed by another success in the Listed Yorkshire Silver Vase at Doncaster in December.

She won that day by over seven lengths and took that form into the Cheltenham Festival, running well to finish fourth in the Grade One Mares' Chase (Pink Legend in third), which was the last time we saw the mare in action.

She now returns to the contest she won 12 months ago with the hope of beginning another campaign with victory in the hands of Daryl Jacob, and she is bang in the mix for another success.

Aintree - December 09 2023
Aintree 12:55
Fergus Gillard

Sacre Coeur

J: Fergus Gillard
T: Dan Skelton
Age: 7
Weight: 11-2
OR: 128
Days: 28

Warwickshire-based trainer Dan Skelton sends one runner to the Listed Houghton Mares' Chase at Aintree on Saturday in the form of Sacre Coeur. The seven-year-old has already had three starts this term, winning twice at Fontwell and Plumpton over fences before switching to hurdles most recently when finishing last of four in the Grade Two Elite Hurdle at Wincanton.

Those successes over fences have come at a lesser level than this and she didn't fare too well when chasing back in 2021 in the UK, failing to finish on two occasions. She then switched to hurdles for a fair bit of time but that didn't yield too much success and she's now back over the larger obstacles here.

The 128-rated mare has done ok in recent times but not at this level and although she isn't dismissed, others are preferred.

Aintree - December 09 2023
Aintree 12:55
Brian Hughes

Burrows Diamond

J: Brian Hughes
T: Sue Smith
Age: 8
Weight: 11-2
OR: 132
Days: 23

The in-form Sue Smith (two winners at Market Rasen on Thursday) has one in this Listed contest over two miles and three furlongs at Aintree on Saturday with her mare Burrows Diamond. The eight-year-old was last seen being pulled up in a chase over 2m 7f at Market Rasen last month after the 11th fence as Dan Skelton's Galia Des Liteaux opened her account for the season with a four-and-a-half-length victory over Found On.

Burrows Diamond is without a win over fences since winning a class three handicap at Wetherby in early December last year, just ahead of Shanty Alley and in a handful of appearances at this sort of level in the last few years, she is yet to really impose herself.

The experienced Brian Hughes will be on board the mare who is looking to make her mark at Aintree. Others are preferred.

Aintree - December 09 2023
Aintree 12:55
Charlie Hammond

La Renommee

J: Charlie Hammond
T: Dr Richard Newland
Age: 5
Weight: 11-2
OR: 127
Days: 26

Dr Richard Newland has one runner in the Listed Houghton Mares' Chase at Aintree on Saturday with his 127-rated mare La Renommee. The five-year-old arrives here in decent form and is on the back of finishing second in a class three handicap chase at Kempton last month as well as a class four victory over 2m 4f at Ludlow in October, which was her first outing for this season.

She ran really well at the Cheltenham Festival in March in the hands of Charlie Hammond to finish third in the Grade Two Mares' Novices' Handicap over 2m 4f and has been a consistent performer over fences since her chasing debut at the start of this calendar year.

She's an interesting runner here considering her current market price of around 12/1. Her form over fences is worth a look and she could go well here at Aintree and at least claim a place if she can replicate some of that form.