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Record number of Irish among 51 entries for G1 Sun Racing Stayers' Hurdle

Press Release 17th January 2019 Cheltenham

Thursday, January 17, 2019 - A total of 51 entries, up from 38 last year and the second-highest total since 2002, are revealed today for the £325,000 G1 Sun Racing Stayers' Hurdle at Cheltenham on the third day of The Festival™ presented by Magners, St Patrick's Thursday, March 14.

Penhill defied a 323-day absence when defeating Supasundae (Jessica Harrington IRE) by two lengths in the 2018 Sun Racing Stayers' Hurdle, and is set to head to the three-mile hurdling championship again without a recent run. He is going for a third successive win at The Festival™ presented by Magners, having won the G1 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle in 2017.

There are a record 23 Irish-trained entries for the Sun Racing Stayers' Hurdle, with Penhill's trainer Willie Mullins, Ireland's champion Jump trainer, responsible for 11 contenders in total. The Mullins' contingent also features 10-time G1 scorer Faugheen, the 2015 Unibet Champion Hurdle victor, who relished the step up to three miles when beating Penhill by 13 lengths at the Punchestown Festival in April, and the 2018 Coral Cup victor Bleu Berry.

Gigginstown House Stud-owned stars Apple's Jade and Samcro, both also entered in the two-mile Unibet Champion Hurdle, headline eight entries for trainer Gordon Elliott. The octet also includes Pallasator, winner of the 2018 Queen Alexandra Stakes on the Flat at Royal Ascot, and last year's G1 JCB Triumph Hurdle scorer Farclas.

The leading British-trained hope is Paisley Park (Emma Lavelle), following victories in the G1 Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot on December 22 and the valuable G3 Betfair Exchange Stayers' Handicap Hurdle at Haydock Park the previous month.

Sam Spinner (Jedd O'Keeffe) looked a potential star when landing the same two races as Paisley Park last season, making all both times under Joe Colliver, but failed to replicate that form when favourite for the 2018 Sun Racing Stayers' Hurdle, finishing fifth.

The seven-year-old has been let down by his jumping on both starts this season, having unseated his rider in the G2 Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury and the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot when it looked as though he tried to refuse at the second.

Trainer Jedd O'Keeffe, based in North Yorkshire, reported: "Sam Spinner is in good form.

"We don't really know why he behaved like that at Ascot. The padded hurdles may have given him a fright, but he has schooled since and seems fine.

"The plan is still to go to the galliardhomes.com Cleeve Hurdle [Festival Trials Day, Cheltenham, January 26] and hopefully all will be good and his confidence will be OK.

"Basically, we have got to try to get his career back on track. If we can get everything right again, the plan would be to return to The Festival for the Sun Racing Stayers' Hurdle."

Another Northern challenger Midnight Shadow (Sue Smith) marked himself down as a contender with a smooth success in the G2 Dornan Engineering Relkeel Hurdle over an extended two and a half miles at Cheltenham on New Year's Day.

Leading owners Simon Munir & Isaac Souede have three entries in total, including the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained pair of Wholestone, third last year and also entered in Unibet Champion Hurdle, and four-time G1-winnning grey Bristol De Mai, a well-established top-class chaser.

Colin Tizzard's two Sun Racing Stayers' Hurdle entries include Kilbricken Storm, winner of the 2018 G1 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle over three miles at The Festival™ presented by Magners.

Others entries to note include dual G1 scorer Yanworth (Alan King), novice chaser Black Op (Tom George) and 2015 Coral Cup winner Aux Ptits Soins (Dan Skelton), who impressed when taking a three-mile handicap hurdle by seven lengths at Cheltenham on New Year's Day.

30 entries for G1 OLBG Mares' Hurdle

Apple's Jade headlines 30 entries for the £120,000 G1 OLBG Mares' Hurdle at Cheltenham on the opening day of The Festival™ presented by Magners, Champion Day, Tuesday, March 12.

Apple's Jade (Gordon Elliott IRE), who won the OLBG Mares' Hurdle (2m 3f 200y) in 2017, could only finish third last year as Benie Des Dieux gained the spoils and gave her trainer Willie Mullins a remarkable ninth victory in the race, which was first run in 2008.

Apple's Jade, one of the 14 Irish-trained entries, is unbeaten this season and on her two most recent outings has recorded wide-margin successes in the G1 Hatton's Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse and G1 Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown, staged over two and a half miles and three miles respectively.

Her trainer Gordon Elliott said: "Apple's Jade is in good form.

"She runs next in the Irish Champion Hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival [Leopardstown, February 1].

"She will do a bit of work next week and, all being well, that is her next target.

"She is a very good mare who does her best work on the track.

"Apple's Jade is more than likely to go for the OLBG Mares' Hurdle at Cheltenham, a race she has won before.

"She has an entry in the Champion Hurdle, but I think it will be very doubtful that she will go there."

Mullins' six-strong team also includes rising star Laurina, though she is currently being aimed at the Unibet Champion Hurdle. The 2017 OLBG Mares' Hurdle third Limini and Leopardstown G3 scorer Good Thyne Tara are also engaged.

The home challenge for the OLBG Mares' Hurdle features prolific hurdler and chaser Lady Buttons (Phil Kirby), Roksana (Dan Skelton), who was second in G1 company at Aintree's Randox Health Grand National Festival last spring, as well as promising novices Queenohearts (Stuart Edmunds) and Mega Yeats (Ruth Jefferson).

Cheltenham Racecourse

Cheltenham Racecourse is situated in Prestbury on the northern outskirts of the historic spa town of Cheltenham. The Home of Jump Racing, Cheltenham Racecourse is the venue for the world's pre-eminent Jump meeting. The Festival™ presented by Magners, which happens in March over four days every year, next takes place from Tuesday, March 12, to Friday, March 15, 2019 inclusive and tickets are on sale. Set against the beautiful backdrop of the Cotswolds, Cheltenham Racecourse is a stunning natural arena and offers the highest-quality action throughout the Jump season. 

More information is available at www.cheltenham.co.uk   and through Twitter (@CheltenhamRaces), Facebook www.facebook.com/thehomeofjumpracing  and Instagram (@CheltenhamRaces).

About The Jockey Club

Cheltenham is part of The Jockey Club which stages thrilling sporting occasions including The Randox Health Grand National, The Festival™ presented by Magners and The Investec Derby. Millions of people every year enjoy the special experiences The Jockey Club offers through racing, music, food and entertainment. Governed by Royal Charter, every penny made goes back into British Racing to help the sport thrive. The Jockey Club was founded in 1750 and today is the largest commercial group in Britain's second-biggest spectator sport, operating 15 racecourses nationwide, The National Stud, Jockey Club Estates, Jockey Club Catering, Jockey Club Live and the charity, Racing Welfare. For more information, visit www.thejockeyclub.co.uk

If you need any information about racing at Cheltenham, please contact: Sophia Dale, Communications Manager - Jockey Club Racecourses South West 01242 537 683 sophia.dale@thejockeyclub.co.uk

G1 Sun Racing Stayers' Hurdle Facts & Figures

BACKGROUND INFORMATION - DISTANCE 2m 7f 213y

The G1 Sun Racing Stayers' Hurdle, known as the World Hurdle between 2005 and 2016, was introduced with the current race conditions in 1972. Before that, the equivalent race was known as the Spa Hurdle.

Foot and mouth disease controls caused the abandonment of the race in 2001.

The Stayers' Hurdle has been run on the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of The Festival™ presented by Magners. It moved to its current Thursday slot in 1993.

 The first year of sponsorship was 1972, under the title of the Lloyds Bank Hurdle. There have been five other sponsors of the race - Waterford Crystal from 1978 to 1990, Bonusprint from 1991 to 2004, Ladbrokes from 2005 to 2015 and Ryanair in 2016. Sun Bets sponsored in 2017 and 2018, with the 2019 running set be under the Sun Racing banner. Prize money currently stands at £325,000.

BIGGEST FIELD

The most runners to have participated was 22, seen in both 1985 and 1990. The current safety limit is 24. The smallest number of horses to line up was eight in 1973.

MULTIPLE WINNERS

Big Buck's, trained by Paul Nicholls and owned by the Stewart Family, created history in 2012 by becoming the first four-time winner. He was also successful in 2009, 2010 and 2011, but injury ruled him out of challenging in 2013. He was fifth on his final racecourse appearance in the 2014 renewal.

The only triple winner is Inglis Drever, successful in 2005, 2007 and 2008.

There have been three dual winners - Crimson Embers (1982 & 1986), Galmoy (1987 & 1988) and Baracouda (2002 & 2003).

MOST SUCCESSFUL OWNER

The Stewart Family (Big Buck's 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012) and Andrea & Graham Wylie (Inglis Drever 2005, 2007 & 2008, Nichols Canyon 2017) are the most successful owners with four wins apiece.

MOST SUCCESSFUL TRAINER

Paul Nicholls, victorious with Big Buck's in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, is the most successful trainer with four wins.

MOST SUCCESSFUL JOCKEY

Ruby Walsh has ridden five winners - Big Buck's (2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012) and Nichols Canyon (2017).

MARES

Two mares have succeeded - Rose Ravine (1985) and Shuil Ar Aghaidh (1993).

BETTING

A total of 15 favourites have won in the 46 runnings (32.6 per cent).

The biggest shock was provided by A Kinsman, a 50/1 chance when scoring in 1983.

At the other end of the scale, Big Buck's was the shortest-priced winner at 5/6 for his 2010 and 2012 victories.

GREYS

One grey has succeeded - Iris's Gift in 2004.

AGE

The oldest winner was Crimson Embers, who was 11 at the time of his second success in 1986.

The youngest winners have been six-year-olds Cole Harden (2015), More Of That (2014) Big Buck's (2009), My Way De Solzen (2006), Inglis Drever (2005), Bacchanal (2000), Cyborgo (2006), Dorans Pride (1995), Trapper John (1990), Rose Ravine (1985), Derring Rose (1981), Mountrivers (1980), Lighter (1979), Flame Gun (1978) and Town Ship (1977).

The overall breakdown by age is as follows:

6yo - 15 wins

7yo - 13 wins

8yo - 11 wins

9yo - 6 wins

11yo - 1 win

RECORD TIME

5m 36.60s, set by Bacchanal in 2000.

OVERSEAS-TRAINED WINNERS

IRELAND (12): Brown Lad (1975); Bit Of A Jig (1976); Flame Gun (1978); Mountrivers (1980); Galmoy (1987 & 1988); Trapper John (1990); Shuil Ar Aghaidh (1993); Dorans Pride (1995); Solwhit (2013); Nichols Canyon (2017) and Penhill (2018).

FRANCE (2): Baracouda (2002 & 2003).

DID YOU KNOW?

The race was dominated in the mid-1980s by Crimson Embers, trained by Fulke Walwyn, who won in 1982 and 1986. Indeed, Crimson Embers would have been awarded the race in the stewards' room in 1985 had his rider not declined to give evidence to the enquiry afterwards, but the trainer won the race anyway with Rose Ravine. The owner, Sally Smart, was ambivalent about the result - she owned both horses!

Gaye Chance, the winner in 1984, was a full-brother to the 1983 Champion Hurdle winner Gaye Brief. Both horses were trained by Mercy Rimell.

No horse has won both the Unibet Champion Hurdle and the Sun Racing Stayers' Hurdle, under its current conditions as a level weights contest. Two horses won the Champion Hurdle and subsequently landed the Stayers' Hurdle's predecessor, the Spa Hurdle, which was run with penalty clauses - Clair Soleil in 1955 & 1959 and Merry Deal in 1957 & 1962.

The three-time winner Inglis Drever was partnered by different jockeys for each of his victories - Graham Lee (2005), Paddy Brennan (2007) and Denis O'Regan (2008).

No horse has won both the Sun Racing Stayers' Hurdle and the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Willie Mullins produced Penhill to win the 2018 Sun Racing Stayers' Hurdle on the horse's first start of the season. The seven-year-old had not raced since the Punchestown Festival 11 months previously. Mullins was also successful in 2017 with Nichols Canyon.

G1 Sun Racing Stayers' Hurdle

Grade 1, £325,000 Total Prize Fund. 3.30pm, Thursday, March 14, three miles (2m 7f 213yds). For four-year-olds and upwards who are allotted a rating of 130 or more by the BHA Head of Handicapping following a review of the horses entered and after taking account of races run up to and including the day prior to confirmation - horses who are not qualified for a rating in GB, IRE or FR may also be entered (such horses may be eligible providing the Handicapper is satisfied that the horse's racecourse performances up to and including the day prior to confirmation would merit a minimum rating of 130 - the decision of the BHA Head of Handicapping shall be final). Weights: 4yo: 11st; 5yo+: 11st 10lb; fillies & mares allowed 7lb. Entries closed January 15, entries revealed January 17 (51 entries). Scratchings deadline February 12, £16,250 supplementary entry stage & six-day confirmation stage March 8, final declarations 10am, March 12. Maximum 24 runners.

Horse

Age

Owner

Trainer

AGRAPART (FR)

8

Gascoigne, Brookes & Barker

Nick Williams 

APPLE'S JADE (FR)

7

Gigginstown House Stud

Gordon Elliott IRE

AUX PTITS SOINS (FR)

9

John Hales

Dan Skelton 

BACARDYS (FR)

8

Shanakiel Racing Syndicate

Willie Mullins IRE

BACHASSON (FR)

8

E O'Connell

Willie Mullins IRE

BAPAUME (FR)

6

Susannah Ricci

Willie Mullins IRE

BENIE DES DIEUX (FR)

8

Susannah Ricci

Willie Mullins IRE

BLACK OP (IRE)

8

Roger Brookhouse

Tom George 

BLEU BERRY (FR)

8

Luke McMahon

Willie Mullins IRE

BRISTOL DE MAI (FR)

8

Simon Munir & Isaac Souede

Nigel Twiston-Davies 

COQUIN MANS (FR)

7

George Creighton

Willie Mullins IRE

CRACKING SMART (FR)

7

Gigginstown House Stud

Gordon Elliott IRE

DARASSO (FR)

6

J P McManus

Joseph O'Brien IRE

DIAMOND CAUCHOIS (FR)

8

Danny & Eamon Partnership

Gordon Elliott IRE

DORTMUND PARK (FR)

6

Gigginstown House Stud

Gordon Elliott IRE

EARLY DOORS (FR)

6

J P McManus

Joseph O'Brien IRE

FARCLAS (FR)

5

Gigginstown House Stud

Gordon Elliott IRE

FAUGHEEN (IRE)

11

Susannah Ricci

Willie Mullins IRE

GARO DE JUILLEY (FR)

7

G Thompson

Sophie Leech 

KEEPER HILL (IRE)

8

McNeill Family

Warren Greatrex 

KILBRICKEN STORM (IRE)

8

A Selway & P Wavish

Colin Tizzard 

LIL ROCKERFELLER (USA)

8

Davies Smith Govier & Brown

Neil King 

LIMINI (IRE)

8

Susannah Ricci

Willie Mullins IRE

MAN OF PLENTY

10

G Thompson

Sophie Leech 

MELON

7

Mrs J Donnelly

Willie Mullins IRE

MIA'S STORM (IRE)

9

The Maple Street Partnership

Alan King 

MIDNIGHT SHADOW

6

Mrs Aafke Clarke

Sue Smith 

MOMELLA (IRE)

7

Holt, Clark, Macnabb, Nugent & Robinson

Harry Fry 

MULCAHYS HILL (IRE)

7

McNeill Family and Prodec Networks Ltd

Warren Greatrex 

NAUTICAL NITWIT (IRE)

10

Birrafun 2

Philip Kirby 

OLD GUARD

8

The Brooks, Stewart Families & Jeremy Kyle

Paul Nicholls 

PAISLEY PARK (IRE)

7

Andrew Gemmell

Emma Lavelle 

PALLASATOR

10

Qatar Racing Limited

Gordon Elliott IRE

PENHILL

8

Tony Bloom

Willie Mullins IRE

PETIT MOUCHOIR (FR)

8

Gigginstown House Stud

Henry de Bromhead IRE

PRINCE OF SCARS (IRE)

9

Gigginstown House Stud

Gordon Elliott IRE

ROBIN WATERS (FR)

6

Colm Donlon

Dan Skelton 

ROKSANA (IRE)

7

Sarah Faulks

Dan Skelton 

SAM SPINNER

7

Caron & Paul Chapman

Jedd O'Keeffe 

SAMCRO (IRE)

7

Gigginstown House Stud

Gordon Elliott IRE

SHANESHILL (IRE)

10

Andrea & Graham Wylie

Willie Mullins IRE

SOUL EMOTION (FR)

6

John & Barbara Cotton

Nicky Henderson 

SUPASUNDAE

9

Ann & Alan Potts Limited

Jessica Harrington IRE

THE MIGHTY DON (IRE)

7

Golden Rose Partnership

Nick Gifford 

THOMAS CAMPBELL

7

Mrs Van Geest & Mrs Kelvin Hughes

Nicky Henderson 

TOP NOTCH (FR)

8

Simon Munir & Isaac Souede

Nicky Henderson 

UNOWHATIMEANHARRY

11

J P McManus

Harry Fry 

VIVE LE ROI (IRE)

8

Surefire Racing

Tony Carroll 

WEST APPROACH

9

John and Heather Snook

Colin Tizzard 

WHOLESTONE (IRE)

8

Simon Munir & Isaac Souede

Nigel Twiston-Davies 

YANWORTH

9

J P McManus

Alan King 

 

51 entries

23 Irish-trained

Breakdown of Entries by Trainer

11 entries

Willie Mullins IRE - Bacardys, Bachasson, Bapuame, Benie Des Dieux, Bleu Berry, Coquin Mans, Faugheen, Limini, Melon, Penhill, Shaneshill  

8 entries

Gordon Elliott IRE - Apple's Jade, Cracking Smart, Diamond Cauchois, Dortmund Park, Farclas, Pallasator, Prince Of Scars, Samcro

3 entries

Nicky Henderson - Soul Emotion, Thomas Campbell, Top Notch

Dan Skelton - Aux Ptits Soins, Robin Waters, Roksana

2 entries

Harry Fry - Momella, Unowhatimeanharry

Warren Greatrex - Keeper Hill, Mulcahys Hill

Alan King - Mia's Storm, Yanworth

Sophie Leech - Garo De Juilley, Man Of Plenty

Joseph O'Brien IRE - Darasso, Early Doors

Colin Tizzard - Kilbricken Storm, West Approach

Nigel Twiston-Davies - Bristol De Mai, Wholestone

1 entry

Henry de Bromhead IRE - Petit Mouchoir

Tony Carroll - Vive Le Roi

Tom George - Black Op

Nick Gifford - The Mighty Don

Jessica Harrington IRE - Supasundae

Neil King - Lil Rockerfeller

Philip Kirby - Nautical Nitwit

Emma Lavelle - Paisley Park

Paul Nicholls - Old Guard

Jedd O'Keeffe - Sam Spinner

Sue Smith - Midnight Shadow

Nick Williams - Agrapart

Horses entered in both the G1 Unibet Champion Hurdleand the G1 Sun Racing Stayers' Hurdle

Apple's Jade (also entered in OLBG Mares' Hurdle)

Farclas

Man Of Plenty

Melon

Petit Mouchoir

Samcro

Supasundae

Wholestone

 

G1 OLBG Mares' Hurdle

Grade 1, £120,000 Total Prize Fund. 4.10pm, Tuesday, March 12, two and a half miles (2m 3f 200y). For four-year-olds and upwards, fillies and mares. Weights: 4yo: 10st 10lb; 5yo+: 11st 5lb. Entries closed January 15, entries revealed January 17 (30 entries). Scratchings deadline February 12, £6,000 supplementary entry stage & six-day confirmation stage March 6, final declarations 10am, March 10. Maximum number of runners 24

Horse

Age

Owner

Trainer

ALLETRIX (IRE)

6

Sally Rowley-Williams

Jessica Harrington IRE

ALSA MIX (FR)

7

June Watts

Alan King 

APPLE'S JADE (FR)

7

Gigginstown House Stud

Gordon Elliott IRE

APPLE'S SHAKIRA (FR)

5

J P McManus

Nicky Henderson 

BENIE DES DIEUX (FR)

8

Susannah Ricci

Willie Mullins IRE

CAP SOLEIL (FR)

6

Mrs S A Noott

Fergal O'Brien 

CHAMPAYNE LADY (IRE)

7

Rory Connell

Alan Fleming IRE

ELIMAY (FR)

5

J P McManus

Willie Mullins IRE

FLORAL BOUQUET

6

The Picnic Party

Jamie Snowden 

FORGE MEADOW (IRE)

7

Joseph M Doyle

Jessica Harrington IRE

GOOD THYNE TARA

9

Nigel King

Willie Mullins IRE

IF YOU SAY RUN (IRE)

7

Highclere T'Bred Racing If You Say Run

Paul Nicholls 

INDIAN OPERA

7

Jo Tracey & Friends

Iain Jardine 

KALAHARI QUEEN

6

Sir Chips Keswick

Jamie Snowden 

LACKANEEN LEADER (IRE)

7

Mrs C Walsh/Grant Mercer

Gordon Elliott IRE

LADY BUTTONS

9

Jayne Sivills

Philip Kirby 

LAURINA (FR)

6

Sullivan Bloodstock Limited

Willie Mullins IRE

LIBERTY BELLA

5

Brian Eckley

Brian Eckley 

LIMINI (IRE)

8

Susannah Ricci

Willie Mullins IRE

MEGA YEATS (IRE)

5

The Mount Fawcus Partnership

Ruth Jefferson 

MIA'S STORM (IRE)

9

The Maple Street Partnership

Alan King 

MIDNIGHTREFERENDUM

6

Robert Abrey & Ian Thurtle

Alan King 

MISSY TATA (FR)

7

Simon Munir/Isaac Souede

Gordon Elliott IRE

MOMELLA (IRE)

7

Holt, Clark, Macnabb, Nugent & Robinson

Harry Fry 

QUEENOHEARTS (IRE)

6

The Sherington Partnership

Stuart Edmunds 

ROKSANA (IRE)

7

Sarah Faulks

Dan Skelton 

SENSULANO (IRE)

6

Allison, Allison, Williams

Noel Williams 

SLOWMOTION (FR)

7

J P McManus

Joseph O'Brien IRE

STORMY IRELAND (FR)

5

Sullivan Bloodstock Limited

Willie Mullins IRE

TINTANGLE (IRE)

6

Gigginstown House Stud

Gordon Elliott IRE

 

30 entries

14 Irish-trained

Breakdown of Entries by Trainer

6 entries

Willie Mullins IRE - Benie Des Dieux, Elimay, Good Thyne Tara, Laurina, Limini, Stormy Ireland

4 entries

Gordon Elliott IRE - Apple's Jade, Lackaneen Leader, Missy Tata, Tintangle

3 entries

Alan King - Alsa Mix, Mia's Storm, Midnightreferendum

2 entries

Jessica Harrington IRE - Alletrix, Forge Meadow

Jamie Snowden - Floral Bouquet, Kalahari Queen

1 entry

Brian Eckley - Liberty Bella

Stuart Edmunds - Queenofhearts

Alan Fleming IRE - Champayne Lady

Harry Fry - Momella

Nicky Henderson - Apple's Shakira

Iain Jardine - Indian Opera

Ruth Jefferson - Mega Yeats

Philip Kirby - Lady Buttons

Paul Nicholls - If You Say Run

Fergal O'Brien - Cap Soleil

Joseph O'Brien IRE - Slowmotion

Dan Skelton - Roksana

Noel Williams - Sensulano

 

G1 OLBG Mares' Hurdle Facts & Figures

BACKGROUND INFORMATION - DISTANCE 2m 3f 200y

This year sees the 12th running of the G1 OLBG Mares' Hurdle (for the David Nicholson Trophy), which was upgraded to be a G1 contest in 2015.

Previously a G2, the race was founded in 2008 in memory of the legendary Cotswold-based jockey and then trainer, who passed away in August, 2006.

OLBG, the online sports betting community, was the first sponsor in 2012.

"The Duke" enjoyed five successes at The Festival™ presented by Magners as a jockey between 1963 and 1973, but is best known for his 17 victories as a trainer, including wins in the Queen Mother Champion Chase (1994 & 1995 Viking Flagship), Stayers' Hurdle (Anzum 1999) and Cheltenham Gold Cup (1988 Charter Party).

Nicholson became the first trainer for more than 50 years to saddle three winners in a day at The Festival™ presented by Magners when Putty Road (Ballymore Novices' Hurdle), Viking Flagship (Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase) and Kadi (Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate) all triumphed on March 15, 1995.

FIELD SIZE

There were 19 runners in 2012, 2013 and 2016, while the smallest field of nine went to post in 2018. The race has a safety limit of 24.

MULTIPLE WINNERS

Quevega dominates the roll of honour, having captured six of the 11 runnings- 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. The Willie Mullins-trained mare became the first horse to win a race six times at The Festival™ presented by Magners in 2014, beating the record she previously shared with Golden Miller, who won the Cheltenham Gold Cup on five occasions between 1932 and 1936.

MOST SUCCESSFUL TRAINER

Willie Mullins saddled Quevega to all six of her victories and the trainer has an amazing nine wins in the race in total, with Glens Melody (2015), Vroum Vroum Mag (2016) and Benie Des Dieux (2018) also having been successful.

MOST SUCCESSFUL JOCKEY

Ruby Walsh has partnered the winner on eight occasions, having ridden Quevega on each of her six victories, Vroum Vroum Mag (2016) and Benie Des Dieux (2018).

BETTING

Quevega was sent off favourite for all six of her successes, and was the shortest-priced winner in 2012 at odds of 4/7. Whiteoak sprung a surprise in 2008 as she scored at 20/1.

OVERSEAS-TRAINED WINNERS

Irish trainers dominate the roll of honour, having accounted for 10 of the 11 winners with Quevega (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014), Glen's Melody (2015), Vroum Vroum Mag (2016), Apple's Jade (2017) and Benie Des Dieux (2018).

DID YOU KNOW?

As well as sponsoring this race, OLBG supports a series of mares' hurdles as part of the OLBG Mares' Road to the Cheltenham Festival.

The exploits of Quevega in the OLBG Mares' Hurdle have been recognised by Cheltenham Racecourse with Quevaga's, a bar situated at the top of the paddock which was launched at The Open in November, 2014.

Annie Power saved bookmakers an estimated £50 million when falling, with the race at her mercy, at the final flight in the 2015 OLBG Mares' Hurdle. Sent off the 1/2 favourite, Annie Power was bidding to become the fourth Willie Mullins-trained and Ruby Walsh-ridden horse to triumph on the opening day of The Festival™ presented by Magners following the victories of Douvan (2/1F) Un De Sceaux (4/6F) and Faugheen (4/5F) earlier on the card. Mullins did gain some compensation as he also trained the winning mare, Glens Melody.

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