There are any number of exciting races to look forward to when it comes to the Cheltenham Festival this year but but the highlight could well be the exploits of Quevega. The superstar mare will be bidding to become the first horse since Golden Miller in the 1930s to win the same race at the Festival five times when she lines up in the David Nicholson Mares Hurdle. The Willie Mullins in-mate has simply stormed to four successive wins in the Mares race and connections are reporting here to be in fine health ahead of her record breaking attempt.
As per usual, Quevega will head to Prestbury Park without a run this season but she looked in good form at Leopardstown on Sunday on her race course gallop. Mullins has firmly resisted temptation to send Quevega to the World Hurdle despite the absence of Big Buck's with the Mares Hurdle her primary target next week. She will start the race as an odds on favourite on day one as she has done over the past couple of years and it would be a major shock if she were to have her colours lowered.
Punters looking to oppose Quevega in the David Nicholson Mares Hurdle betting will have a tough task on their hands despite some classy sorts currently holding an entry. The obvious threat is likely to come from Une Artiste who is very nice mare for trainer Nicky Henderson. Une Artiste was good enough to win the Fred Winter Hurdle at Cheltenham last year so clearly acts at Cheltenham which is a positive for punters backing her. She will however have to produce a career best to even trouble Quevega on all known form which is reflected in the latest show of betting for the race.
In truth it is hard to see past Quevega who has proven herself to be nigh on untouchable in recent years. A fifth consecutive win for her would be a remarkable achievement for everyone involved with the horse with special praise going to Willie Mullins. The Irish Champion Trainer has managed to keep the horse at the peak of her powers without injury for a number of years now and followers of the sport will be aware of just how difficult that is to do. Mullins will be hoping that Quevega can start his Cheltenham week off with a bang, with plenty of punters backing the Irishman to pick up the coveted Top Trainer award at the Festival this season.