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Mares' Hurdle 2023 Tips - Will Honeysuckle bow out with a bang?

Last updated: 07 Mar 2023
Jon Vine 07 Mar 2023
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  • Tips, odds and predictions for the 2023 Mares' Hurdle
  • This Grade One takes place at 4:10pm on day one of the Cheltenham Festival
  • Shewearsitwell features in our selections
Mares' Hurdle Tips Odds Runners
Honeysuckle will receive a hero's farewell when she retires after the Mares' Hurdle. (Getty)

The third of three Grade Ones to be run on Champions Day at the Cheltenham Festival is the Mares' Hurdle. Many talented hurdlers have won the Mares' Hurdle down the years and one of this generation's most successful horses will make her final appearance in the 2023 renewal.

Here's our free guide and tips for the 2023 Mares' Hurdle.

Cheltenham 2023 Tips - Mares' Hurdle 2023 Guide

Mares' Hurdle 2023 Odds

Marie's Rock11/4
Brandy Love6/1
Echoes In Rain6/1
Love Envoi7/1
Queen's Brook10/1

Mares' Hurdle 2023 Favourite

Having seen her incredible unbeaten run come to an end this season, Henry De Bromhead and Kenny Alexander have made the decision to drop Honeysuckle back down to mares-only company for her career swansong.

Rachael Blackmore's mount was finally beaten in the Hatton's Grace, where the favourite hit the front a little too soon and was passed in the closing stages by two stronger stayers. State Man proved too classy in the Irish Champion Hurdle, but Honeysuckle still managed to hold Vauban and Pied Piper at bay to finish a creditable second.

Honeysuckle's form has regressed over the past 18 months and she'd have no chance of winning the Champion Hurdle, where Constitution Hill and State Man are miles clear of the rest. De Bromhead's star has won this race before, though, beating a very classy rival in Benie Des Dieux back in 2020 and Honeysuckle will likely get backed into a very short price in the build-up to Tuesday's race.

Mares' Hurdle 2023 Runners

Marie's Rock came through with a late burst to win this race 12 months ago, before following up in the equivalent at Punchestown. Following her excellent reappearance victory in the Cleeve Hurdle, I was going to put Marie's Rock up as my selection here. I still will if she is confirmed for the race, but recent quotes from Nicky Henderson suggest the Stayers' Hurdle is being seriously considered.

Epatante will be supplemented for the Mares' Hurdle, having found Constitution Hill too good over two miles this season. Henderson's mare won the Aintree Hurdle over two-and-a-half miles back in April. She was, however, beaten by Marie's Rock around a slightly stiffer track in Punchestown and Cheltenham racecourse is even more testing still. I worry that Epatante won't see out this trip.

I have the same concerns with Echoes In Rain, who didn't get up the hill when fifth in the Mares' Hurdle last year. Willie Mullins' mare looks like a natural two-miler. She produced a career-best effort when thrashing Cash Back and Bob Olinger at Naas last time out. I'd give Echoes In Rain an each-way chance in the Champion Hurdle if she turned up there, but over two-and-a-half-miles, she wouldn't be for me.

Love Envoi and Brandy Love were the two best novices in the mares division last season and both look set to take on their elders here. No disrespect to last year's Mares' Novices' Hurdle winner, but of the two, Brandy Love would have the more class. That being said, I didn't think she shaped well at all on her only start of the season at Punchestown and Mullins only has 20 days to get her right.

Queens Brook beat Brandy Love convincingly that day and last year's runner-up must have an each-way chance. As does Tellmesomethinggirl, who hasn't taken well to chasing this season and looked to be in with a shout in this race 12 months ago before coming down at the second-last.

Paul Townend riding Shewearsitwell win The BeattheBank.ie Irish EBF Mares Hurdle at Leopardstown. (Getty)

Mares' Hurdle 2023 Tips

Honeysuckle isn't the force she once was, but she's clearly still the one to beat. Henry De Bromhead's mare hasn't been beaten far by Teahupoo and State Man this season and stepping up in trip seems like a sensible move.

Despite the favourite's obvious appeal, I do think there's scope for an each-way bet, if Marie's Rock doesn't show up. The one I like at a double-figure price is SHEWEARSITWELL for that man, Willie Mullins.

Shewearsitwell had looked exceptional as a novice hurdler back in 2020, before she suffered a significant set-back. For a while, it seems like Mullins' mare had completely lost her way. That was until Shewearsitwell landed a Pertemps Qualifier at Punchestown this autumn, where Paul Townend's mount recovered well after a couple of early errors to snatch a narrow victory.

Over Christmas, Mullins' mare dropped back down to two-and-a-half miles to take on Queens Brook in the Grade Three Mares' Hurdle at Leopardstown. Gordon Elliott's runner was heavily backed before the off, but Queen's Brook was no match for Shewearsitwell, who showed her rival a clean set of heels as she pulled five lengths clear on the extended run to the line.

Having rediscovered her swagger and with that impressive victory over last year's Mares' Hurdle runner-up under her belt, Shewearsitwell could be a massive player on day one of the Cheltenham Festival.


I do fancy Marie's Rock to beat Honeysuckle, if the former was to return to the Mares' Hurdle. Shewearsitwell holds appeal at a much longer price, so she'll be my each-way selection in what promises to be a memorable race.
2023 Mares' Hurdle tips: Shewearsitwell Each-Way @14/1 at bet365 - 10 Units
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Mares' Hurdle 2023