Past Winners » Quevega


Quevega is too big for this now that we know that she is fit and well. She won well on her first two starts for Willie Mullins last season before disappointing badly in the champion four-year-old hurdle at Punchestown, but the ground was fairly fast that day, and you can always forgive a mare one run. On her next run, she ran out of her skin to finish third in the Prix Alain du Breil at Auteuil, just two lengths behind no less than Hurricane Fly. That was a huge run, and puts her right on Whiteoak’s coat tails.

On her seasonal debut yesterday, she was really good, she travelled really well throughout the race and her jumping was fast and accurate, before she pulled clear to win readily from a decent field of geldings. Willie Mullins says that she will come on for that quite a bit. She does appear to be at her best when she can get her toe in, but the mares’ race is on the first day of the Cheltenham Festival this year, so the ground should be as soft as it is going to be all week. It won’t be any faster than yielding anyway.

Whiteoak will be a tough nut to crack for sure, last year’s winner. She ran a cracker in going down to Ashkazar in the Kingwell Hurdle last Saturday, but Quevega may not be that far behind her, and there is a chance that Whiteoak will go for the Champion Hurdle instead of this race (I will be backing her with a run for the Champion at 50/1 or better). Even if she does run in the mares’ race, she doesn’t have a huge amount in hand of Quevega, who is the more progressive also, and is too big at 7/1.


10th March, 2009