David Nicholson Mares Cheltenham
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Although only recently established as a race at the Cheltenham Festival, the David Nicholson Mares hurdle has produced some wonderful spectacles for racegoers in the last six years.
The race itself is specifically restricted to mares and is run over two and a half miles on the second day of the Cheltenham Festival.
It's run in the memory of legendary trainer David Nicholson, whose legacy at the Cheltenham Festival has lived on through the running of this unique type of race – the first of its kind that is strictly for females.
Nicholson, who died in 2006, had a glittering career both as a jockey and later as a trainer, and thrived when the Cheltenham Festival came around. He enjoyed five Cheltenham wins between 1963 and 1973 but is more famously remembered for his 17 achievements as a trainer.
His big wins included; successes in the Queen Mother Champion Chase (1994 & 1995 Viking Flagship), World Hurdle (Anzum 1999) and Gold Cup (1988 Charter Party).
Due to the recent nature of the race, past trends are pretty irrelevant for punters when trying to find the winner. Saying that, it hasn't been that hard to find the winner in recent years. Legendary mare Quevega, trained by Willie Mullins, has landed the spoils on each of the last four occasions – firmly etching herself into the folklore of Cheltenham history.
Mullins has done an extraordinary job with this mare in that she doesn't need a prep-run before going into a race of this magnitude.
For the last three seasons she has turned up at Cheltenham without having been raced for nearly eight months and still had enough in the tank to win comfortably on both occasions.
She is a cut above anything currently racing in this discipline and if Mullins wants to he can send her out to win for the fifth year running in 2013.