OLBG Mares' Hurdle
Grade 2
£85,000 added,
4yo plus,
2m 4f, Class 1
Tuesday 11th March 2014

Horses 468x60 Jpg

1 Quevega 8/11F
2 Glens Melody 14/1
3 L'Unique 25/1
16 ran Distances: ¾l, ¾l, 3l
TIME 4m 44.60s (slow by 6.10s)

Trainer Willie Mullins saluted Quevega after the mare created history by winning the OLBG Mares' Hurdle for a sixth successive year. She's the winning-most horse ever at The Festival.

© Caroline Norris

"She's just something else and the mare did the talking today," said Mullins. "She's got stamina, speed and everything, She's just class - what more can I say? I'm so pleased for her and she has her own place in history now. To get a horse here for six years in a row is enough.

"The breeder told me when she was five that she would get better with age and that her mother wasn't at her best until she was nine. We might be greedy to try number seven next year, we'll go home and have a drink and a think.

"Veterinary advice was telling us to put her to stud and I sent her up to Ned Gowing and said that I wanted her back as a race mare - we are not in the breeding game - and he told me what to do. He treated her and told me the way to train her, so a lot of this achievement is down to him. He put her right for me the first year and we just follow the same procedure every year.

Glens Melody
© Caroline Norris

Glens Melody
"The other mare (runner-up Glens Melody) ran a fantastic race and flattened the second last. I am delighted for Glens Melody and connections but I would never have been as disappointed at having a winner at Cheltenham if she had beaten Quevega. It was fantastic the way she turned it around over the last 200 yards. She put down her head and is so brave - she keeps pulling it out. She is never beaten.

"It's way up there with all of my Festival winners. I love Quevega and that was one of our missions coming here - trying to get Hurricane Fly across the line didn't work - but to get her there, I am happy now for the week.

"We set about riding Hurricane Fly more positively this year and maybe it backfired. Maybe it was age, I don't know. He seems fine afterwards.

"I was disappointed with Hurricane Fly but everything else from here on this week is a bonus. I'm more than happy to have won what we have."


The OLBG Mares’ Hurdle
(For The David Nicholson Mares’ Trophy)
£85,000 added, 4yo plus, 2m 4f, Class 1
16 ran
Going: Good to Soft, Good in Places

W P Mullins
R Walsh
11st 5lbs
8 - 11
Glens Melody
W P Mullins
P Townend
11st 5lbs
14 - 1
3/4 length
A King
R Thornton
11st 5lbs
25 - 1
3/4 length
Hidden Identity
Tim Vaughan
R Johnson
11st 0lbs
66 - 1
3 lengths
Cockney Sparrow
J J Quinn
A P McCoy
11st 5lbs
8 - 1
Short Head
Top Totti
H D Daly
Jake Greenall
11st 0lbs
66 - 1
1 1/4 length
Pass The Time
N P Mulholland
D A Jacob
11st 0lbs
100 - 1
3/4 length
Highland Retreat
H Fry
N Fehily
11st 5lbs
14 - 1
3/4 length
Little King Robin
C Bowe
M P Walsh
11st 0lbs
100 - 1
6 lengths
A Couetil
H Terrien
11st 5lbs
66 - 1
1/2 length
Jennies Jewel
J P Fahey
I J McCarthy
11st 5lbs
50 - 1
2 lengths
Cailin Annamh
Mrs J Harrington
B J Geraghty
11st 5lbs
10 - 1
10 lengths
Down Ace
F O'Brien
D F O'Regan
11st 5lbs
20 - 1
6 lengths
Doyly Carte
D McCain Jnr
Henry Brooke
11st 5lbs
40 - 1
5 lengths
Epee Celeste
M C Chapman
Joseph Cornwall
11st 0lbs
200 - 1
36 lengths
Sirene D'ainay
E Clayeux
D Cottin
11st 5lbs
11 - 1


Jockey Ruby Walsh was wreathed in smiles following Quevega's record-breaking sixth victory in the OLBG Mares' Hurdle this afternoon.

The 8/11 favourite had to work hard to collar stablemate and runner-up Glens Melody but she dug deep and powered up the hill to record a three quarter length victory with L'Unique a further three quarters of a length back in third.

Quevega's success now means that Walsh has ridden 40 Cheltenham Festival victories which has consolidated his position as the winning-most jockey at The Festival.

Walsh was delighted to have made history with the mare, who may come back to The Festival again next year for another crack at the race she has made her own.

"She's a great little mare," said Walsh.

"That's the quickest ground that she has run on and I was fairly panicking off the bend but she was good. When you think about, to come back here six times and do it - she's 10 years of age but she has everything.

"It's some performance by Willie to keep bringing her back and bringing her back - minding her and nursing her. It's nice to be part of history and say who won the most races - Quevega - and I can say that I rode her.

"I thought going to the last that I would win. Paul was quicker at the last than I was but I knew halfway up in the run-in that I was going to get there."

Walsh also had news on Hurricane Fly, who disappointed behind Jezki in the Stan James Champion Hurdle.

"Hurricane Fly travelled well and jumped well but didn't quicken and I was disappointed with the way he stopped," mused Walsh.

"He might not have been good enough to win but he folded and that's the thing that has me puzzled."



2013-WINNER-QUEVEGA 9-11-05 Owner-Hammer & Trowel Syndicate; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP- 8/11 Fav
2ND-Sirene D'Ainay 7-11-05 Owner-Stephane Milaveau; Trainer-Emmanuel Clayeux FR; Jockey-Jonathan Plouganou; SP-33/1
3RD-Swincombe Flame 7-11-00 Owner-Yeo Racing Partnership; Trainer-Nick Williams; Jockey-Daryl Jacob; SP-40/1
19 ran, Time-4m 55.46s Dist-1½, 2

2012-WINNER-QUEVEGA 8-11-05 Owner-Hammer & Trowel Syndicate; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP- 4/7 Fav
2ND Kentford Grey Lady 6-11-00 Owner-Ian Bare; Trainer-Emma Lavelle; Jockey-Noel Fehily; SP-14/1
3RD Golden Sunbird 8-11-03 Owner-Jim Mernagh; Trainer-Paul Nolan IRE; Jockey-Robbie Power; SP-66/1
19 ran, Time-4m 51.30s Dist-4, nk

2011-WINNER-QUEVEGA 7-11-05 Owner-Hammer & Trowel Syndicate; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-5/6 Fav
2ND Sparky May 6-11-05 Owner-Bill Muddyman; Trainer-Pat Rodford; Jockey-Keiran Burke; SP-4/1
3RD Ocean Transit 6-11-00 Owner-Ocean’s Five; Trainer-Richard Price; Jockey-David Bass; SP-50/1
14 ran, Time-4m 48.08s Dist-10, 1

2010-WINNER-QUEVEGA 6-11-05 Owner-Hammer & Trowel Syndicate; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-6/4 Fav
2ND Carole’s Legacy 6-11-00 Owner-Paul Murphy; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Andrew Tinkler; SP-20/1
3RD Voler La Vedette 6-11-05 Owner-Mrs M Brophy; Trainer-Colm Murphy IRE; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-9/4
17 ran, Time-4m 45.40s Dist-4½, 1¼

2009-WINNER-QUEVEGA 5-11-03 Owner-Hammer & Trowel Syndicate; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-2/1 Fav
2ND United 8-11-05 Owner-R B Holt; Trainer-Lucy Wadham; Jockey-Dominic Elsworth; SP-100/30
3RD Aura About You 6-11-00 Owner-Jim Mernagh; Trainer-Paul Nolan IRE; Jockey-Alain Cawley; SP-28/1 21 ran, Time-4m 55.20s Dist-14, sh

2008-WINNER-WHITEOAK 5-11-00 Owner-Brendan Richardson; Trainer-Donald McCain Jnr; Jockey-Jason Maguire; SP-20/1
2ND Refinement 9-11-05 Owner-Michael Tabor; Trainer-Jonjo O’Neill; Jockey-Tony McCoy; 10/1
3RD Chomba Womba 7-11-05 Owner-Richard & Lizzie Kelvin Hughes; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Mick Fitzgerald; SP-100/30 Fav
13 ran, Time-5m 1.40s Dist-sh, 2½

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