Cheltenham 2024 | The Cheltenham Triple | Lossiemouth

Cheltenham, Lossiemouth

As the Cheltenham Festival arrives once again, Willie Mullins looks primed for more success in the shape of Lossiemouth.

Making a return to the Festival from her JCB Triumph Hurdle win last year, Lossiemouth and Paul Townend have gone from strength to strength as a duo.

With further Grade 1 success at Punchestown in the Ballymore 4-YO-Hurdle, the mare comes here off a wholly impressive Unibet Hurdle win at Cheltenham in January.

On paper, a 1/2 heavy favourite this week, everything is lined up in the Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle.

However, could Lossiemouth yet be swayed by glory in the Champion Hurdle?


Opportunity knocks?

The news of Constitutional Hill’s untimely withdrawal due to a lung infection came as a huge blow to both organisers and punters alike.

But, with Nicky Henderson’s misfortune, could Willie Mullins land an opportune Cheltenham blow?

Yes, another one.

Set to swerve the main event of Day 1, Lossiemouth has now been given quite the dangling carrot.

It could also present Paul Townend with a quandary.

With State Man now one of the shortest-price runners this year at 1/3, Lossiemouth is nearest in the betting at a reversal of 3/1 – a full six point difference.

For now however, with only hours to go until the flag drops on the Festival, plans remain for the Mares’ race.


Triumph Hurdle knock-on?

If, as expected, Lossiemouth sticks to Plan A, there is an element of great intrigue on the menu.

Both runner-up and third places to Lossiemouth in last year’s Triumph Hurdle are set for another crack at the queen.

In the case of the latter, 25/1 Zenta put in a hugely game effort before being pipped for third by Gala Marceau.

Meanwhile, Gala Marceau, despite being the bridesmaid last year, remains the only horse to beat Lossiemouth in seven career races.

That was in a Spring Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown last February.

The 5yo mare arrives at Cheltenham with two third places in the Yorkshire Mares’ and Quevaga Mares’ Hurdle.


A Diamond; a returning hope

Meanwhile, Ashroe Diamond – who beat Gala Marceau last time out at Doncaster – is currently the closest market rival at 7/2 with BetUK.

Beaten just once in four trips, a third contest around the 2m4f mark will be familiar ground.

Yet, beaten in stronger company in the Grace Hurdle, this particular Diamond must up her game.

Outside of the two market leaders, double-figure odds greet punters.

What of the 9/4jf in this very contest last year, Marie’s Rock?

Labouring home to finish seventh in Honeysuckle’s fitting send-off, Nicky Henderson looks to keep the crown against the odds.

This time around 12/1 hopes may look fleeting, but the 2022 winner on the same ground, Marie’s Rock might have better fortune.


Bigger punts

Down the list of bigger prices, Hispanic Moon is not without e/w chances.

Having also beaten Gala Marceau last time out in the aforementioned Quevaga, Henry De Bromhead’s contender has pedigree.

Hispanic Moon is half-brother to none other than El Fabiolo, sire of former flat specialist, Spanish Moon.

A belting 25/1 shot with Unibet, the 7yo’s effort last time out was gutsy.

In conditions that will likely be far kinder, Hispanic Moon will have her braver backers.

Finally, You Wear It Well looks to double-up from Cheltenham last year and seal a rare feat.

Victorious in the Jack De Bromhead Mares’ Novices over Magical Zoe – also running here – Jamie Snowden’s girl’s last win took down the very able Luccia on season debut.

Could lightning strike twice in Gloucestershire? A 33/1 price with BetVictor says it can.


Lossiemouth is set to ride in the Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle on Tuesday 13 March at 16:10 GMT.

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