18 April 2019
DAY TWO OF the 2018 meeting brought even warmer weather for what was the ﬁrst Jumps card ever staged in Britain exclusively for ﬁllies and mares.
Together with the British Horseracing Authority, Cheltenham has been keen to promote opportunities for mares, and three Listed races were included along with £190,000 in prize money.
Champion Trainer Nicky Henderson gave his seal of approval, helped in no small part by his Dame De Compagnie taking Listed honours in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle.
“She’s still got a lot to learn, but she’s gorgeous and has a great future,” said Henderson. “The whole concept of National Hunt mares has been growing for quite a time now, and this is a new project but a very admirable one. It’s all about encouraging mares to come into the game, breed them, keep them and race them.”
There was breeding black type too for Midnight Target, who justiﬁed some of the faith her Shropshire-based trainer John Groucott has shown in her by winning the EBF/Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Mares’ Novices’ Handicap Chase. Quicker ground played to the favour of the sparely-raced Rejaah, who came to the fore in a competitive 17-runner ﬁeld in the Listed Catesby Estates Plc Mares’ Handicap Hurdle.
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