Cheltenham Tips: Rory Delargy’s 8/1 pick for the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle non runner money back

Rory is siding with Henry de Bromhead and Magical Zoe.

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Rory’s Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle non runner money back pick

Selection: Magical Zoe

The Cheltenham Festival 2023 is edging ever closer and, with the off slowly looming in to view, we’ve got jump jockey icon turned tactical guru Ruby Walsh and top pundit Rory Delargy with us every week to hopefully get you more bang for your buck.

The Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle is the penultimate race on Thursday, March 16th as the best young mares battle it out over 2m1f.

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Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

Luccia won at Exeter over the weekend, finishing ahead of Lallygag and Western Zephyr, however, they were really disappointing that day. The form behind Luccia that day is weak but she cruised through the race and kicked on when asked to. She’s unbeaten now and she won a graded bumper at Sandown this time last year. She’s got a load of talent and she does stand head and shoulders above the rest of the home contingent.

Liberty Dance is the one I like of Gordon Elliot’s runners. She was sixth in a Grade 3 at Down Royal last year and that form has held up. Magical Zoe won, Nikini was second and The Model Kingdom was third. Liberty Dance has improved since and she ran really well in the Paddy Mullins Mares Handicap Hurdle at Leopardstown. She finished well there and she was giving a lot of weight to her rivals. She’s worth keeping an eye on as she might have slipped under the radar.

Jetara ran well on her hurdles debut at Leopardstown behind High Definition, who affected her run a couple of times. She then backed that up at Fairyhouse when second to Ashroe Diamond. She’s a player if she goes to the Mares Novices Hurdle.

La Malmason for Gavin Cromwell is a huge price for this and she ran really well on her hurdles debut. She disappointed next time out but she bounced back to form at Punchestown when second last time. She can come forward for that run.

Verdict:

Assuming this is Henry De Bromhead’s plan for Magical Zoe, she could be under the radar. The way the rating system works, because her win in the Grade 3 Mares Novice Hurdle at Down Royal came in November, she’s technically behind a lot of these in what she’s achieved on ratings, but the form has held up. If you updated the ratings, she’d be near the top of the list. She doesn’t have much to find with these despite what the ratings indicate and could go well at a decent price.

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