Quevega etched her name in Cheltenham Festival history as she joined the mighty Golden Miller with five wins in the same race, as she produced a battling performance to land the David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle to bag a hat-trick for Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh.
She had looked to have her work cut out as slowing horses stopped her momentum and the 33/1 French raider Sirene D'Ainay looked to have the race at her mercy, but between the last two flights she sprinted in chase and she duly jumped the last with aplomb and reeled in her rival to win by one-and-a-half lengths.
4:40 David Nicholson Mares´ Hurdle Result Grade 2 Cl1 2m4f
1. Quevega - R Walsh - W P Mullins 8/11 Fav
2. Sirene D'Ainay - J Plouganou - E Clayeux 33/1
3. Swincombe Flame - D Jacob - N Williams 40/1
The David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle is a Grade Two 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.