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Mares’ Hurdle spotlight: Vroum Vroum Mag – banker or blowout?

David Metcalf | March 8, 2016

Vroum Vroum Mag no banker for Mares’ Hurdle

Vroum Vroum Mag is unbeaten in eight starts since joining trainer Willie Mullins, and a red-hot favourite to continue the County Carlow handler’s domination of the Grade 1 Mares’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

The master of Closutton has won the last seven renewals and, in Vroum Vroum Mag, has an exciting prospect who looks to hold major claims of making it win number eight.

After showing smart form in France, the seven-year-old won her five races over fences for Mullins without having to barely break a sweat.

Ascot

Vroum Vroum has since reverted to the smaller obstacles with the minimum of fuss, winning a minor event at Clonmel in facile fashion before landing a Grade 2 contest at Sandown in good style when last seen in action.

The Rich Ricci owned daughter of Voix Du Nord was put under pressure for the first time in the latter, but travelled with her usual power throughout the race and ultimately scored with more in hand than the 3 1/2 length winning margin suggests.

Coupled with stablemate Annie Power’s supplementing in the Champion Hurdle, this has pushed Vroum Vroum Mag to the head of Cheltenham betting on the 2016 Mares’ Hurdle.

Is revised rating of 155 justified?

Vroum Vroum Mag has been raised to a rating of 155 following that success, but whether that is justified is debatable.

The runner-up Jennies Jewel is rated just 138 and has since finished a disappointing third to Flute Bowl in weak contest at Warwick.

Jennies Jewel and Ian McCarthy jump during the 2m 4f Hurdle Punchestown Photo: Patrick McCann 31.12.2014

Flute Bowl had previously been beaten 31 lengths by Polly Peachum, who finished a cracking head second in the 2015 running of the Mares’ Hurdle and is said to be bang on target by trainer Nicky Henderson for this year’s renewal.

The third home at Sandown, Cannon Fodder, is also an exposed nine-year-old who has since finished just third in a class 3 handicap hurdle and is rated 130.

Form of Sandown win not strong

Taking everything into account, there has to be a big question as to how strong the form of Vroum Vroum Mag’s win at Sandown actually is and my view is that it is weak.

Vroum Vroum could obviously do no more than win, and has answered every question asked of her so far.

Vroum and Walsh

However, connections have targeted what can only be described as soft targets and the Mares’ Hurdle will be by far the toughest assigment she has faced.

The race also only became her target after Faugheen became injured and stablemate Annie Power was re-routed from it to the Champion Hurdle.

So, whilst Vroum Vroum Mag clearly has the potential to be anything, she is plenty short enough in the betting for what she has achieved so far and no banker to land the spoils.

If you don’t agree then take the 4/5 with Coral, who are betting non-runner/money back, about Vroum Vroum Mag winning the 2m 4f contest on on Tuesday, March 15th.

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