Horse Racing tips: A runner-by-runner guide to the Opera Hat Mares’ Chase at Naas

PPTV's Graham Byrne previews the big race at Naas at 1.40pm on Saturday

Naas Racing


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The feature race on the card at Naas is the Opera Hat Mares’ Chase over 2m. The main protagonists will be putting their Cheltenham credentials on the line in a race that has produced some smart winners down the years.


Willie Mullins is attempting to win this race for the fourth year in succession, and his main hope will be ELIMAY. JP McManus’ 7-year-old grey has been in excellent form this season, and she will be attempting to give weight away to this field to set up a possible tilt at the Mares’ Chase at Cheltenham.

Elimay is 7/2 for that race at Cheltenham and has been slashed in the betting on the back of her recent second to Allaho in a Grade 2 at Thurles. There was plenty of money for Elimay that day and she didn’t disappoint as she gallantly challenged approaching the last, but she couldn’t quite master the winner. After the race Willie Mullins earmarked this race as her next target.

JP’s racing manager, Frank Berry, has said the mare is in good form and that Willie is very happy with her. She is attempting to give 5lbs to the field, but a repeat of her recent Thurles form should be enough and then all roads will lead to Cheltenham.

Shattered Love

The biggest threat to the favourite should be SHATTERED LOVE. Gordon Elliott’s 10-year-old is now in the twilight of her career, but she is very capable on her day and may be dangerous back chasing after a poor showing when last seen contesting a handicap hurdle at Navan in early December.

Elliott is also aiming Shattered Love towards that Mares’ Chase at Cheltenham and a good run will be needed here if Gigginstown are to contemplate sending her over. Elliott has reported the mare in good form, and her last run over the larger obstacles yielded a win in a Listed chase around Clonmel when she had Cabaret Queen in behind.

Elliott has suggested that the trip may be on the sharp side, as she has been racing over longer lately, but she is classy on her day and Elimay will need to be good if she is to give Shattered Love 5lbs and a beating.


Shattered Love Jack Kennedy JLT Novices' Chase Cheltenham March 15, 2018



Yukon Lil

The fly in the ointment here could be YUKON LIL. On paper she appears to be Willie Mullins’ second string, but with JP’s retained jockey Mark Walsh riding Elimay, Yukon Lil will have the services of the in-form Paul Townend who has won this race for the last two years.

Yukon Lil looked to have a big season ahead of her when she landed a Beginners Chase around Cork back in November, but she has lost her way since. She was third in a novice event at Navan and was pulled up when most recently spotted in a Grade 2 around Thurles last month. So there are big question marks over Yukon Lil, but with the weight she is getting off Elimay, a return to the form of her Cork victory could see her challenging again.


TINTANGLE is Gordon Elliott’s second string, and with a row of recent form figures that wouldn’t look out of place on a Scrabble board, she has it all to do. She was sent off a 40/1 rag when she took a nasty fall two out at Leopardstown last weekend. Tintangle was weakening when she took the tumble and it’s surprising that she is being sent out so soon.

She was pulled up when last seen chasing at Punchestown back in November. Rachael Blackmore on board is a positive but Tintangle will need to leave all her recent form behind and hope a lot of other things go her way if she is to compete in this.



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John Ryan is never afraid to take on the big guns, but WAITNSEE looks out of her depth here. She won a Beginners Chase around Tramore back in July, but she has been outclassed in most of her races since. Her most recent outing saw her toil home a distance behind Coolreevy in a Grade 2 at Thurles. The stable would be delighted with any kind of place prize money here.

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while in-copy odds are accurate at the time of publication but subject to change

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