Strong field for EBF/ TBA Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle Finale at Newbury

Fri 24 Mar 2017

Supported by the European Breeders’ Fund and Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association, the £40,000 Grade 2 EBF & TBA Mares’ National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle Finale Limited Handicap is the finale to a 12-race series throughout the jumps season and is one of only a handful of black type opportunities for novice hurdler mares in Britain.  It has attracted a large field of 17 over an extended two and a half miles at Newbury tomorrow (25 March) justifying its upgrade from  a Listed contest to a Grade 2 for 2017

The 2016 contest was taken by BRIERY QUEEN (GB) (King’s Theatre (IRE)), trained by Noel Williams for owner/ breeder Helen Plumbly and Kathryn Leadbeater.  This progressive mare went on to win at Cheltenham in December 2016 and was 5th of a field of 17 runners in this year’s OLBG Mares’ Hurdle (Grade 1) at the Cheltenham Festival.

This year’s line-up features top-weight Tara View (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson, 11st 10lb), who is unbeaten in three starts over hurdles this season, Listed bumper scorer Copper Kay (Philip Hobbs/Richard Johnson, 11st 7lb) and the hat-trick seeking Hitherjacques Lady (Oliver Sherwood/Leighton Aspell, 11st 5lb).

Symonds runs River Arrow (Jamie Moore, 10st 11lb) who bounced back from a disappointing effort at Warwick with victory against the boys in a two and a half mile novices’ hurdle at Southwell on March 6.

The trainer added: “River Arrow winning at Southwell was not a surprise at all. She has always shown plenty of ability but was a bit mercurial early on as the fairer sex can be.

“The ground would need to stay as it is for her to run. The ground was very hard work at Southwell and she has got a real soft ground action. We will see how things pan out with the ground.”

Author: BEBF/ Newbury Racecourse