2021 Mares’ Chase Betting Tips – Elimay The Play in New Cheltenham Contest

Cheltenham Festival Betting Tips · Friday, 19th Mar 2021 - 16:15

Mullins and McManus mare the real deal

Ever since the announcement about the addition of the 2m 4f Grade 2 Liberthine Mares’ Chase to the Cheltenham Festival, it wouldn’t surprise me if owner JP McManus and trainer Willie Mullins have had Elimay in mind. Its place in the schedule for its inaugural running is the penultimate race on Gold Cup day this Friday (16:15).

Elimay has won three of her four starts over fences. She was five lengths too good for Agusta Gold on her debut in this sphere. She followed-up on that when up in trip and grade at Thurles, confirming form with the same rival. After a great effort over hurdles at Punchestown on reappearance, Elimay chased home Ryanair Chase fancy Allaho in the Kinloch Brae Chase in open company.

The daughter on Montmatre then dropped back in trip and took the Opera Hat at Naas easing down. There is no obvious reason why re-opposing runner-up Shattered Love should turn the tables. Elimay still has plenty of further progress in her too.

Her lightly-raced profile for a seven-year-old means she is favourite here. However, Elimay has rock solid form – advertised by Agusta Gold this term – and going back up in trip isn’t a problem. She is a worthy 11/8 favourite with bet365 for the spoils here.

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Colreevy the Mares’ Chase danger

Stable companion Colreevy is only a novice, but recaptured the fine promise she showed in bumpers earlier in her career. Also aged seven, she bolted up by 15 lengths on her bow over fences at Punchestown on reappearance.

Mullins had no hesitation pitching Colreevy in at the highest level at Limerick. For context, 12 months earlier, the Grade 1 run there at Christmas was won by Faugheen. In a race that fell apart, Colreevy overcame a mistake two out and rallied close home for success.

This daughter of Flemensfirth completed her hat-trick under a penalty in the same Grade 2 at Thurles that Elimay won last year. Colreevy has done precious little wrong over fences, but open company is tougher even than her Grade 1. This is because there’s a penalty she has to carry.

Colreevy has also finished no better than fifth on two previous visits to Cheltenham. The track may not play to her strengths, but is very much bred for fences and could give Elimay most to think about at 3/1 with Boylesports here. Mullins also saddles Salsaretta, whose jumping has really let her down this season.

Shattered Love looks best of the rest

The remainder all have some sort of question mark against them. It’s a really shame that Annie Mc doesn’t make it to the track, and that Happy Diva runs in the Paddy Power Plate on the Thursday. They were leading British contenders for the Mares’ Chase on the pick of their form.

Zambella is a novice who jumps out to her right, so she’s hard to fancy. Top-rated Magic Of Light has a Grand National entry again and this way short of her best. That leaves is with previous Festival winner Shattered Love.

Although the joint-oldest in the line-up aged 10, she’s the only course and distance winner in the line-up. Now in the care of Denise Foster, Shattered Love won the 2018 JLT Novices’ Chase (now the Marsh) here in some style. Gigginstown House Stud’s mare had Cabaret Queen’s number on heavy going at Clonmel in the autumn too.

The only problem with Shattered Love is she now meets Elimay again off 2lb worse terms from the Opera Hat. She stayed on into second that day, but doesn’t have the same scope for further improvement as the favourite. Shattered Love is 5/1 with Betfred for Mares’ Chase success.

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