DAWN RUN MARES’ NOVICES’ HURDLE INFO
Date: Thursday, March 16, 2023 – Day 3
Type: Grade 2 Hurdle Race
Distance: 2 Miles 1 Furlong
One of the newest races on the whole National Hunt calendar let alone at the Cheltenham Festival, the Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle is a Grade 2 event, naturally for mares only, is run over a trip just short of 2 miles and 1 furlong and offers up eight flights of hurdles to be jumped around the New Course.
The Mares’ Novice Hurdle 2023 will be staged on day three of the festival, on Thursday March 17th at 4.50PM, making it the penultimate race of the penultimate day. The prize fund for this season stands at £90,000 for a race that has so far only been won by one single trainer; the master Willie Mullins who has taken all four renewals since 2016.
Despite being just a fledgling event and the newest of the Cheltenham Festival’s 28 races, the Dawn Run has already proven to be hugely popular and this time around we should see a very competitive field of mares lining up.
You will need to keep an eye out for all offers put out by online bookmakers in advance of the Cheltenham Festival this year, especially as those advertised last time around were so generous.
Regardless of the fall in overall gambling yield in Britain having been partly attributed to over-generous deals surrounding this meeting, online firms will need to remain competitive and so we should see something akin to some of last year’s standout offers such as Coral’s Double Your Winnings on the First Race at Cheltenham (up to £25), Betway Sports’ £30 in Free Bets and the Bet £10 Get £40 Cheltenham Special Sign Up deal from Betfred.
Entries and ante post betting is not available on this race just yet, as trainers have plenty of time to sort out where they want to send their mares. Those going up against the boys in Grade 1 company may struggle, while those having won Class 1 hurdle races already will have to carry a penalty in this race so there is much to sort out.
When the Mares’ Novice Hurdle betting does open up, we’ll have some great value advance information to help you begin to form your early Cheltenham Festival bets.
It goes without saying that at four years old this race is a little young to be showing us too much in the way of reliable trends, but that’s not to say we can’t glean something from these early renewals.
The most successful trainer is obviously Willie Mullins with four wins from four, but there are two trainers who have repeatedly sent out runners to go well already. Nicky Henderson saddled the 3rd and 4th in 2016, the 4th in 2017 and the 5th horse home in 2018 while Gordon Elliott was 2nd in 2017 before saddling the 3rd and 4th last year, so watch out for their runners too.
The first three winners of the Dawn Run were unbeaten that season, while the surprise 50/1 shot had won her first race of the season before finishing third on the run-up to the festival. It seems likely that a last time out winner will be successful here, so try matching that up with one of the three named trainers above.
This race is open to those mares aged four and over, though older horses deemed top class will probably be given other targets and the younger ones, especially if they’ve been penalised, will find this tough so it’s no surprise that all four winners so far have been aged 5.
Behind the four winning mares, the eight placed horse’s ages have been 5, 6, 5, 6, 6, 7, 6, 5 so there appears to be nothing much wrong with going for one just a little older than Mullins’ four winners to date.
Until Eglantine Du Seuil came along, every winner of the Dawn Run had gone off at odds-on due to their unbeaten seasons, but it’s still far too early to suggest that favourites are going to completely dominate this event.
Should one of the three trainers chiefly mentioned here have a mare coming into this race in winning form, aged 5 or 6, we would not put you off backing them regardless of their place in the market.
Initial entries for this event will prove to be very telling and at that point we can send out some value ante post Mares’ Novice Hurdle tips, but the best thing to do with a race such as this is wait right until the final declarations are known on Tuesday March 10th.
At that point with the final field known, we can take better advantage of betting offers, get the best odds guaranteed and even bet live to ensure we have our fingers on the trigger.
Here’s a look at all of our past Dawn Run Novices’ winners:
Frankly, there have only ever been four Mares’ Novice Hurdle winners so there’s not a lot of information to go through!
The 2019 running was a very competitive affair with 22 mares lining up, leading to some major pushing and shoving in the betting ring.
Nicky Henderson’s Epatante held sway in the market as the 15/8 favourite ahead of Posh Trish at 3/1 with the only other horse in single figures as it were being My Sister Sarah given that, having watched him saddle all three previous runnings of this race, no layer wanted to take too much of a chance on a Willie Mullins mare.
With all three of these horses disappointing in the end, the places were filled by those at huge odds and yet Mullins still managed to train the first two home and three of the first six, led by shock 50/1 winner Eglantine Du Seuil.
This was a monumental result for the bookmakers and served to remind punters that in races such as this, where form is a lot less reliable, taking a punt on horses trained by world class trainers at massive odds to small stakes may well just pay off.