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Ryanair Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle
Grade 2, Cheltenham 16:50
£105,000 guaranteed,
4yo plus mares,
2m 179y, Class 1  
Thursday 14th March 2024


1 Golden Ace 10/1
2 Brighterdaysahead 5/6F
3 Birdie Or Bust 10/1
8 ran NR: Casa No Mento, Dysart Enos, Little Miss Dante
Distances: 1¾l, 1¾l, ½l Time: 4m 20.60s (slow by 23.60s)

Golden Ace turned over Brighterdaysahead and Jade De Grugy to win for trainer Jeremy Scott and jockey Lorcan Williams.

He defied expectations and surged to triumph, leaving the well-touted Irish rivals in his wake.

Brighterdaysahead carried a significant reputation, while Jade De Grugy was representing the formidable Willie Mullins stable. However, it was Golden Ace who showcased remarkable strength in the final stretch, securing an unexpected win.

Jade De Grugy faced challenges when squeezed up at the second-last hurdle, with jockey Paul Townend caught in a tight spot. In contrast, Golden Ace and Brighterdaysahead enjoyed smoother passages. As they approached the finish line, the British-trained Golden Ace displayed resilience, outlasting the competition and claiming a memorable victory.

"It’s an emotional moment," Scott said. "I thought coming second here last year with dear old Dashel Drasher was something but that was very special. She was travelling so well, although her jumping wasn’t great – she probably jumped the last one the best of the lot. She always looked to have them covered. 

"Lorcan’s such a talent, he’s a natural horseman and a cracking bloke to have on top of a horse. I’m really glad he’s had the opportunity to shine. We’ve got lots to dream about and we’ll enjoy this moment."

Williams was claiming his second win at the meeting having steered Porlock Bay to victory in the 2021 St James's Place Hunters' Chase when amateur riders were unable to take part due to coronavirus restrictions.

He said: "We were always quietly confident. The one question mark was her jumping but the further she went the better she went today. I was watching the racing and seeing the Irish and thinking, ‘Cor, can we really do it?’ and then the race went out of my head and my goal was to watch the main danger and not get there until the last. 

"She’s got such a turn of pace and they went no pace so I was delighted. She winged the last and stayed on to the line."


Ryanair Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle
(Registered as the Dawn Run Novices' Hurdle)
Grade 2, £105,000 guaranteed, 4yo+ mares, 2m 179y, Class 1  
8 ran
Going: Soft

1    Golden Ace 6 11-2 Jeremy Scott Lorcan Williams 10/1
Brighterdaysahead 5 11-7 Gordon Elliott Jack Kennedy 5/6F
3 Birdie Or Bust 6 11-7 Henry De Bromhead Rachael Blackmore 10/1
½ Jade De Grugy 5 11-7 W P Mullins Paul Townend 2/1
10 Majestic Force 6 11-2 Henry De Bromhead Darragh O'Keeffe 25/1
Mollys Mango 6 11-2 Harry Derham Paul O'Brien 40/1
Titanium Moon 6 11-2 Donald McCain Brian Hughes 80/1
4 Victoria Milano 6 11-2 Alastair Ralph Jack Tudor 125/1
NR 4 Casa No Mento 6 11-2 Nigel Twiston-Davies NON RUNNER
NR 5 Dysart Enos 6 11-2 Fergal O'Brien NON RUNNER
NR 7 Little Miss Dante 6 11-2 Olly Murphy NON RUNNER

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Trull House Stud Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle Past Results

Year Winner Age/Wt Owner Trainer Jockey SP Ran

2023 You Wear It Well 6 11-7 Sir Chips Keswick Jamie Snowden Gavin Sheehan 16/1 21

2022 Love Envoi 6 11-7 Noel Fehily Racing Syndicates Harry Fry Jonathan Burke 15/2 19

2021 Telmesomethinggirl 6 11-02 Kenneth Alexander Henry De Bromhead Rachael Blackmore 5/1 15

2020 Concertista 6-11-02 Simon Munir & Isaac Souede W P Mullins Daryl Jacob 9/2 22

2019 Eglantine du Seuil 5-11-02 Sullivan Bloodstock Limited Willie Mullins IRE Noel Fehily 50/1 22

2019-WINNER- DU SEUIL 5-11-02 Owner-Sullivan Bloodstock Limited; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Noel Fehily; SP-50/1
2ND-Concertista 5-11-02 Owner-Simon Munir & Isaac Souede; Trainer-Willie Mulllins IRE; Jockey-Danny Mullins; SP-66/1
3RD-Tintangle 6-11-05 Owner-Gigginstown House Stud; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Jack Kennedy; SP-40/1
22 ran, Time- 4m 51.09s, Dist-sh, 1¾ 15/8 Fav Epatante (9th)

2018-WINNER-LAURINA 5-11-07 Owner-Sullivan Bloodstock Limited; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Paul Townend; SP-4/7 Fav
2ND-Cap Soleil 5-11-07 Owner-Mrs S A Noott; Trainer-Fergal O’Brien; Jockey-Paddy Brennan; SP-10/1
3RD-Champayne Lady 6-11-02 Owner-Rory Connell; Trainer-Alan Fleming IRE; Jockey-Denis O’Regan; SP-80/1
14 ran, Time-4m 15.40s, Dist-18, sh

2017-WINNER-LET’S DANCE 5-11-07 Owner-Susannah Ricci; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-11/8 Fav
2ND-Barra 6-11-02 Owner-Gigginstown House Stud; Trainer-Gordon Elliott IRE; Jockey-Bryan Cooper; SP-12/1
3RD-Dusky Legend 7-11-05 Owner-Richard & Lizzie Kelvin-Hughes; Trainer-Alan King; Jockey-Wayne Hutchinson; SP-20/1
16 ran, Time-4m 2.00s, Dist-2¾, nk

2016-WINNER-LIMINI 5-11-07 Owner-Susannah Ricci; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-8/11 Fav
2ND-Dusky Legend 6-11-02 Owner-Richard & Lizzie Kelvin-Hughes; Trainer-Alan King; Jockey-Wayne Hutchinson; SP-50/1
3RD-Bloody Mary 5-11-07 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-7/1
16 ran, Time-3m 58.00s, Dist-4½, 2½