A new race to look forward to at 2016's Cheltenham Festival. A Grade 2 Mares Novice Hurdle that Willie Mullins has another strong favourite for. Willie Mullins bemoaned the fact that there was not enough prize money on offer at the Cheltenham Festival last year and his wish has been granted with this new race over 2m 179y.
I have heard good things about this horse for a while now but sadly I missed all of the early ante post value. Limini is improving fast and it's difficult to look elsewhere for the winner. She won three in a row on the flat in France before joining Willie Mullins and since then has improved huge amounts over hurdles. Her jumping isn't always the best but her speed and engine makes up for that. We've seen her only once this season when she won a Grade 3 on heavy ground but Willie Mullins is certain that Limini will keep improving especially on better ground. Mullins say that her jumping has improved significantly and if she brings that to Cheltenham then she'll be very tough to beat.
Smart Talk has already shocked one Willie Mullins hot pot this season when she beat Morning Run who was a 5/6 favourite at Doncaster. That was a Grade 2 race and that's arguably the strongest form on offer here. She won a listed event up at Haydock before that brushing aside rivals to win by 8l's. Smart Talk is very good, Brian Ellison is in fine form and she should be suited to the Cheltenham hill. This promising mare might give Limini the most to do.
Bloody Mary came to Britain with a big reputation having won all her races in France. Nicky Henderson ran her at Taunton where she had to work hard to beat Banyu. Not sure how strong that form is if I'm totally honest but Tony McCoy and Barry Geraghty have both schooled her and said she's an amazing mare. If you're after a bit of each way value then this might be the horse for you.