Back

Polly Peachum poised to enhance Mares’ Hurdle claims

The rapidly improving Polly Peachum can further enhance her Mares’ Hurdle claims with success in the Listed 3m contest at Kempton today (2.10).

The Nicky Henderson trained mare has won five of her 10 starts over hurdles and looked better than ever when defying top weight to score impressively at Wincanton on seasonal reappearance earlier in the month.

The six-year-old travelled ominously well throughout the 2m 6f contest and after being produced at the last only had to be driven clear to win by three lengths.

It was a terrific effort under a welter burden of 11st 12lb, and one which marked Polly Peachum as a leading contender for the Mares’ Hurdle at the 2015 Cheltenham Festival.

The daughter of Shantou is now officially rated 155, and that is 13lb higher than Glen’s Melody who was beaten just 3/4 of a length by the mighty Quevega in this year’s renewal of the 2m 4f contest.

Polly Peachum’s rating is also just 7lb lower than that of the Willie Mullins trained win machine Annie Power, and with further improvement to come she looks an exciting contender for Festival honours come next March.

The obvious danger stahding in the way of Polly Peachum following up her Wincanton success is the Alan King trained L’Unique.

The five-year-old was a Grade 1 juvenile winner who ran a stormer when a 1 1/2 length third to Quevega in the 2014 Mares’ Hurdle.

The daughter of Reefscape went on to finish a five length runner-up to Polly Peachum in a Listed mares’ handicap hurdle at Cheltenham, and now meets the winner on 10lb better terms.

That entitles L’Unique to finish much closer, but Polly Peachum looks to be on a serious upward curve and is fancied to confirm the placings.

Of the rest, Carole’s Destrier is a tough and consistent sort who could go well but will need a career-best to trouble Polly one today’s terms and Irish raider Clara Mc Cloud is an interesting contender for in-form trainer Gordon Elliott.

The latter won’t mind the testing conditions but faces a mammoth task on paper as she is officially rated 26lbs below Polly Peachum but only receives 4lb from the favourite.