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The Close Brothers Mares Hurdle Race

Held every March at Cheltenham Racecourse is The Cheltenham Festival – a four-day-long meeting featuring some of finest fixtures in the sport.

Only The Grand National offers more prize money than The Festival, thanks to a series of Grade 1 featured races including The Gold Cup, The Queen Mother Champion Chase, The Champion Hurdle and The Stayers’ Hurdle. There is a total of 28 races across the event.

Noted for its intense atmosphere, The Cheltenham Festival is often taking place during St. Patrick’s Day, making it tremendously popular with Irish visitors and competitors.

The Cheltenham Festival has taken permanent residency at Cheltenham Racecourse since 1911 but had often moved around beforehand. The Stayers’ Hurdle first took place a year later and still continues to this day.

The Cheltenham Festival 2021 will take place from Tuesday the 16th until Friday the 19th of March, featuring Champion Day on Tuesday.

About the Race

Inaugurated not too long ago in 2008, The Close Brothers Mares Hurdle Race is a Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race for mares aged 4 years or older.

This race is officially named The David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle in tribute of David Nicholson who was successful as both a jockey and trainer, winning 23 races across the two professions.

The race is run on the ‘old course’ of Cheltenham over a total distance of 2 miles, 3 furlongs and 200 yards and consists of 10 hurdles to be jumped.

The Close Brothers Mares Hurdle Race has a purse of £120,000, with £70,816 going to the winning mare and her team.

Race number 5 of Champion Day will be The Close Brothers Mares Hurdle Race, scheduled to begin at 16:10.


The top 10 predicted runners and their ante-post odds for The Close Brothers Mares Hurdle Race at The Cheltenham Festival 2021 are the following:

  1. Concertista (FR) – 2/1 ante-post favourite – 7 years old – weighing in at 11-9 (29/12/20) – trained by Willie Mullins
  2. Honeysuckle (GB) – 9/4 ante-post odds – 7 years old – weighing in at 11-5 (29/11/20) – trained by Henry De Bromhead
  3. Benie Des Dieux (FR) – 5/1 ante-post odds – 10 years old – weighing in at 11-5 (10/03/20) – trained by Willie Mullins
  4. Roksana (IRE) – 6/1 ante-post odds – 9 years old – weighing in at 11-6 (23/01/21) – trained by Dan Skelton
  5. Dame De Compagnie (FR) – 10/1 ante-post odds – 8 years old – weighing in at 10-5 (18/01/21) – trained by Nicky Henderson
  6. Verdana Blue (IRE) – 10/1 ante-post odds – 9 years old – weighing in at 10-7 (12/12/20) – trained by Nicky Henderson
  7. Elimay (FR) – 14/1 ante-post odds – 7 years old – weighing in at 11-3 (23/01/21) – trained by Willie Mullins
  8. Great White Shark (FR) – 16/1 ante-post odds – 7 years old – weighing in at 10-12 (28/01/21) – trained by Willie Mullins
  9. Minella Melody (IRE) – 20/1 ante-post odds – will be 8 years old – weighing in at 11-7 (29/12/20) – trained by Henry De Bromhead
  10. Floressa (FR) – 25/1 ante-post odds – 6 years old – weighing in at 11-4 (30/01/21) – trained by Nicky Henderson


Every single race that takes place at Cheltenham Festival draws in an astounding number of bets for bookies and betting sites with millions of pounds on the line.

Since these races are so valuable to them, they’re able to make them a little more valuable to you, too. After all, with such high competition for online bookmakers, they need to do everything they can to draw in customers new and old.

With the help of our expert team of tipsters, you can take full advantage of the great deals and incredible odds The Cheltenham Festival provides, making this Festival the best one yet.


Many generous promotions can be lapped up and used to place lucrative bets including the likes of enhanced odds, extra places paid and free bets.

Back in 2017, due to a triplet of such promising favourites, the race featured runners with odds as incredible as 250/1, 200/1 and several 100/1’s. Unfortunately, 250/1 Bon Chic pulled up before two out and 200/1 Hidden Identity was brought down at the 5th, but who knows what could happen with so many variables in play.

It only takes a few of the favourites to fall or pull up and suddenly you could see your £10 backed horse returning profits of up to £2500.

Previous Winners


9/4 second-favourite Honeysuckle was the winning mare of The Close Brothers Mares Hurdle Race last year, ridden by jockey Rachael Blackmore and trained by Henry De Bromhead.

4/6 race favourite Benie Des Dieux finished in second place, followed by 16/1 Elfile in third and 12/1 Roksana in fourth. Honeysuckle is the same odds for The Close Brothers Mares Hurdle Race 2021 – can she take it one step further?


10/1 outsider Roksana won The OLBG Mares’ Hurdle in 2019, ridden by Harry Skelton and trained by Dan Skelton. She’s currently tipped for fourth in the Cheltenham Festival ante-post betting, can she cause another upset in 2021?

After winning in 2018,10/11 favourite Benie Des Dieux, ridden by Ruby Walsh and trained by Willie Mullins, looked in command when she fell at the last. Each-Way betting punters were delighted when 25/1 outsider Good Thyne Tara managed to steal in for a third-place finish.


Benie Des Dieux was the 9/2 second-favourite when she stole The OLBG Mares’ Hurdle title in 2018, ridden by jockey Ruby Walsh and trained by Willie Mullins.

It was a close race in which 1/2 favourite Apple’s Jade only managed a third-place finish with 33/1 outsider Midnight Tour clutching the second-place prize.


Going back to the 14th of March 2017, it was 5-year-old 7/2 Apple’s Jade that took the £61,897 first-place prize in The OLBG Mares’ Hurdle, ridden by jockey Bryan Cooper and trained by Gordon Elliott.

With the three most likely mares made up of such short odds, this race saw prices as high as 250/1, with many others sitting at 100/1 or above.