The first day of the Cheltenham Festival is always one of the highlights of the season and that will certainly be the case once again this week. The Supreme Novices Hurdle, the Arkle and the Champion Hurdle are perhaps the favoured races with most fans but plenty of attention will fall on Quevega as she bids for a remarkable sixth consecutive successive in the David Nicholson Mares Hurdle. The Willie Mullins mare has become a Festival legend in recent year's and she could well enhance her reputation further with another famous success on Tuesday afternoon.
As usual, Mullins has kept Quevega away from the racecourse this season which ensures that her run at Prestbury Park will be her first this winter. That has never been a problem for her in the past though and in truth if Quevega is anywhere near her best once again, she will be far too classy in this company. A sixth consecutive success would see her surpass the Cheltenham Festival record of Golden Miller who won the Gold Cup on five occasions during the 1930's.
It is fair to say that the David Nicholson Mares Hurdle is not the highest quality affair at the Festival but Mullins must take plenty of credit for getting Quevega back to Cheltenham each season fit and well. That is no mean feat in a sport where injuries and fitness problems are common and for that alone, she is a horse to saviour while we can.
The bookmakers are convinced that Quevega will take all the beating on Tuesday with 4/5 the current best price about her winning at the time of writing. Other nice horses running in the race include Cockney Sparrow (9/1) and Highland Retreat (16/1) but up against Quevega, these mares have masses to find on all known form. The schedule for the Festival was changed this year with the Mares hurdle now the fourth race on day one which means that Quevega's record breaking attempt will be live on Channel Four.