Mares Hurdle, 2m 4f, Tuesday, March 15, 4.10pm
Key stat:Outside of Quevega’s six wins here the Grade 2 mares race at Ascot has been the most reliable form guide
The groan from the Cheltenham crowd when Annie Power fell at the last was heard as far away as Ireland as the opening day four-timer on Willie Mullins-trained favourites was torpedoed.
However, Mullins still won the race with Glens Melody (since retired) and if as expected Annie Power diverts to the World Hurdle it may be the turn of Vroum Vroum Mag to pick up where the record-breaking Quevega (six wins in a row) left off.
The Grade 2 Vroum Vroum Mag won easily at Ascot in mid-January is the most reliable guide outside of Quevega’s dominance as United and Sparky May both won it before finishing second to Mullins’ wonder mare. Kentford Grey Lady was runner-up in both races in 2012.
Last year’s narrow runner-up Polly Peachum and Aurore D’Estruval, who shaped like a blatant non stayer over 3m at Ascot last time, look like being the main contenders from the British side of the water.