4.40 Cheltenham – Quevega to make it three consecutive wins

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We’re only in the fourth year of the David Nicholson Mares Hurdle, but having won the last two runnings, Quevega is the shortest price favourite at the whole of the Cheltenham Festival.

The phrase Cheltenham banker has been bandied about quite a bit over the past few weeks as the Cheltenham Festival drew ever closer, but one horse whose name has been associated with the phrase more than most is Quevega.

At 4/5 to win the Mares Hurdle, Quevega is the only odds-on favourite in the Cheltenham betting and as a mare that wouldn’t look out of place in either the World Hurdle or the Champion Hurdle, she’s going to take all the beating once again.

Quevega’s closest rival in the betting is Sparky May who is unbeaten in her last four starts and has been the subject of sustained support since beating Carole’s Legacy at Ascot last time out.

Having opened at 16/1, Sparky May is now trading at 7/2 and represents the biggest threat to Quevega.

L’accordioniste finished sixth behind Sparky May at Ascot and while that was a disappointing run, at 8/1 the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained six-year-old has the Cheltenham form that suggests she will be there or there abouts come the finishing post.

Ladbrokes are paying 1/4 of the odds for a top three finish and with Quevega such a short price favourite, 11 of the 14 horses all have odds bigger than 16/1.

While the betting suggests it will be a Quevega-Sparky May-L’accordioniste 1-2-3, Alasi is a really tempting price at 33/1 having finished third behind Sparky May at Ascot and second behind Banjaxed Girl (16/1) at Sandown.

Banjaxed Girl is an interesting mare, but at double the price of Banjaxed Girl, Alasi is definitely the best each-way value in the race.

A £20 stake on Alasi winning the Mares Hurdle would return £680. New customers can sign up here for a free Cheltenham bet worth up to £60.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.