Annie Power was unable to down More Of That in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle last season, but the Willie Mullins-trained superstar will attempt to bag Cheltenham Festival glory on the opening day of the meeting when she lines up in the David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle on Tuesday afternoon.
She has yet to be seen on a racecourse this season, but all the vibes coming out of Mullins' yard is that she is in sparkling form and if she can produce her best then has to be the one to beat in what is one of a number of top notch races taking place at Prestbury Park.
Glens Melody will be the second shot fired by the Mullins team and she was a cracking runner-up to Quevega in this race 12 months ago and she has shown this season that she is a classy performer and she is sure to give her stablemate some lively opposition.
Nicky Henderson's Polly Peachum has progressed immeasurably this season and having won at Cheltenham before will be eager to sparkle again, whilst the likes of L'unique, Carole's Spirit and Bitofapuzzle add great depth to what should be a thrilling event.
4/7 Annie Power
4/1 Glens Melody
10/1 Polly Peachum
20/1 Carole's Spirit
20/1 The Pirates Queen
33/1 Emily Gray
33/1 Mischievous Milly
33/1 Swing Bowler
33/1 Dark Spirit
50/1 Pass The Time
66/1 The Govaness
66/1 Hidden Identity
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The David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle is a Grade One race run on day one of the Cheltenham Festival over two miles, four furlongs for mares aged four years or older.
Established in 2008, the race is a quality addition to the four-day extravaganza as some of the leading mares head to post in search of festival glory and there is already one name that has become synonymous with the race, even in the short time it has been taking place.
Willie Mullins' classy mare Quevega won the race for the first time in 2009 ridden by Ruby Walsh and since then has dominated the contest winning both the 2010 and 2011 renewals of the race to notch up a terrific hat-trick.
Named after legendary trainer David Nicholson, who amassed five winners as a jockey at the Cheltenham Festival, but more notably saddled 17 winners at the festival in a career that saw him become regarded as one of the greatest trainers of all time, it is apt that a great horse has become linked with the race.
No doubt as this race continues to attract some of the best mares from the UK & Ireland it will quickly grow in stature and become the premier contest for the females in the national hunt calendar.
Throughout the season we will be keeping a close eye on an potential mares who coild challenge Quevega for her title and closer to the race we will be providing a whole list of all the runners that will be taking her on in the two miles, four furlong contest.