The Close Brothers Mares Handicap Hurdle is a gripping National Hunt race that serves as the final race of Cheltenham’s International meeting every December.
Scheduled to take place just a few weeks before Christmas each year, The Cheltenham International is an enthralling occasion that offers 15 magnificent National Hunt races including a featured race on each day.
The featured race of Day One is The Unibet Handicap Steeple Chase at 14:25 and the featured race of Day Two is The Unibet International Hurdle at 15:00. Day Two also offers another notable fixture in the form of The Caspian Caviar Gold Cup Chase at 13:50.
The International meeting at Cheltenham Racecourse is enthusiastically scribbled into the National Hunt calendar for Friday the 10th and Saturday the 11th of December 2021. For all The International meeting’s news and ticket information, sign up for The Jockey Club’s newsletter at https://www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/newsletter/.
About the Race
The Close Brothers Mares Handicap Hurdle is a Class 2 National Hunt handicap hurdle race exclusively for mares that is run as the final race of The International meeting at Cheltenham Racecourse every December.
Open to mares aged four years and above, The Close Brothers Mares Handicap Hurdle measures 2 miles, 4 furlongs and 56 yards in length and features 10 hurdles along its track of the New Course at Cheltenham.
The prize pool for this race sits at £24,000, which is shared proportionately between the teams of the first four horses to successfully complete the race. Each of the first four positions is assigned the following amounts:
1st place – £15,014
2nd place – £4,435
3rd place – £2,218
4th place – £1,109
The Close Brothers Mares Handicap Hurdle will be the final race of The Cheltenham International at 15:35 on Saturday the 11th of December 2021, just two weeks before Christmas Day.
The wonderful mares that participate in The Close Brothers Mares Handicap Hurdle each year provide an exhilarating performance as they compete for a share of this race’s generous prize pool.
Here are the runners, their starting prices and how they fared in this fantastic race on Day Two of The International Meeting 2020 (ordered by saddlecloth number):
- Indefatigable (IRE) – Non-Runner – starting price N/A – weighing in at 11-12 – not assigned a jockey – trained by Paul Webber
- Eglantine Du Seuil (FR) – second-place finish – 4/1 starting price – weighing in at 11-4 – ridden by jockey Harry Cobden and trained by Paul Nicholls
- Miah Grace (GB) – eighth-place finish – 3/1 starting price – weighing in at 10-12 – ridden by jockey Joe Colliver and trained by Jedd O’Keeffe
- Molly Ollys Wishes (GB) – Non-Runner – starting price N/A – weighing in at 10-5 – assigned jockey William Marshall and trained by Dan Skelton
- The White Mouse (IRE) – first-place finish – 10/3 starting price – weighing in at 10-5 – ridden by jockey Bryony Frost and trained by Lucy Wadham
- Aggy With It (IRE) – seventh-place finish – 7/1 starting price – weighing in at 10-2 – ridden by jockey Harry Skelton and trained by Dan Skelton
- The Bay Birch (IRE) – sixth-place finish – 10/1 starting price – weighing in at 10-0 – ridden by jockey Sam Twiston-Davies and trained by Matt Sheppard
- Crossgalesfamegame (IRE) – third-place finish – 11/2 starting price – weighing in at 10-0 – ridden by jockey Connor Brace and trained by Fergal O’Brien
- Printing Dollars (IRE) – fourth-place finish – 33/1 starting price – weighing in at 10-0 – ridden by jockey Brian Hughes and trained by Warren Greatrex
- Schiaparannie (GB) – fifth-place finish – 25/1 starting price – weighing in at 10-0 – ridden by jockey Aaron Anderson and trained by Mrs V Makin
The International meeting at Cheltenham Racecourse, whether you attend physically or virtually, provides a fantastic opportunity to make some extra cash heading into the Christmas period.
If you’re not sure where to start with your bet slip or you would just like a second opinion on your selections, check out our comprehensively researched horse racing betting tips to ensure your horses are the ones most likely to make an impact on the day.
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Odds for The Close Brothers Mares Handicap Hurdle are always generous, with prices ranging from 3/1 on the race favourite to 33/1 on the longest outsider last time out.
It was 10/3 priced The White Mouse that came out on top, turning £10 outright backing stakes into £43.33 in returns with £33.33 profit. If 33/1 Printing Dollars had paced just 10 lengths faster, those that backed him could have walked away with £340 in returns. When there are hurdles involved, who knows what could happen.
Here are the previous 4 winners of The Close Brothers Mares Handicap Hurdle, including their odds, closest competitors and race stats:
Last year’s winner of The Close Brothers Mares Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham Racecourse for The International was 10/3 second-favourite The White Mouse, ridden by jockey Bryony Frost and trained by Lucy Wadham.
4/1 third-favourite Eglantine Du Seuil finished two and a quarter lengths behind the leader in second place, followed by 11/2 priced Crossgalesfamegame in third place and 33/1 outsider Printing Dollars in fourth.
The Close Brothers Mares Handicap Hurdle at The Cheltenham International in 2019 was won by 2/1 race favourite Dame De Compagnie, ridden by jockey Barry Geraghty and trained by Nicky Henderson.
11/2 priced Indefatigable finished four and a half lengths behind the leader in second place, followed by 20/1 outsider Midnightreferendum in third place and 16/1 River Arrow in fourth.
In 2018, the winner of The Close Brothers Mares Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham Racecourse was 4/1 second-favourite Sensulano, ridden by jockey Barry Geraghty and trained by Noel Williams.
6/1 priced Oscar Rose finished 2 lengths behind the leader in second place, followed by 11/2 priced Petticoat Tails in third place and 20/1 outsider Queen’s Magic in fourth.
At Cheltenham Racecourse back in 2017, the winner of The Close Brothers Mares Handicap Hurdle was 7/2 joint-favourite Momella, ridden by jockey Harry Skelton and trained by Dan Skelton.
20/1 outsider River Arrow finished just half a length behind the leader in second place, followed by another 20/1 outsider, Graceful Legend, in third place and 14/1 outsider Molly Childers in fourth.