2.35 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Honeysuckle Mares Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 4f

Ashroe Diamond: Grade 2 mares’ bumper win in Aintee last season marked her down as a top prospect and has lived up to her potential this season, winning twice but arguably showcased to best effect in defeat - third to Marine Nationale in Royal Bond here and third to Facile Vega and Il Etait Temps at Leopardstown. No other mare in the field has the same strength of form so providing she stays this longer trip, she looks the one to beat.

Eabha Grace: Ran to a good standard in bumpers and has continued to prosper this season, starting off with a couple of decent efforts in defeat (one of them an 11-length second to Halka Du Tabert) before winning by 30 lengths at Punchestown. Excused her no show in listed contest back at that track (was struck into) and confirmed it was all wrong when turning the form on her stablemate Hauturiere with good staying performance in Limerick Grade 3. Strong stayer at this trip and on this ground so big field and potentially attritional affair will suit.

Got Glory: Thrown in at the deep end for hurdles debut after just one run and win on the flat in France. That may be a fair indication of what her trainer thinks of her but this will be very difficult.

Halka Du Tabert: Naas bumper winner in November got off the mark over hurdles at first time of asking when 11 lengths too good for Eabha Grace at the same track in December. Third to Ashroe Diamond then in tactically run Solerina Novices Hurdle at this track, before stepping forward again when third to You Wear It Well, staying on well over the two-mile-one-furlong trip. This longer trip should suit.

Harmonya Maker: Wide margin winner on both of her starts at this track and particularly impressive on New Year’s Day, but season has derailed through jumping frailties - unseating behind Hauturiere at Punchestown and falling behind Eabha Grace at Limerick. She just looked to be held at Limerick so she has a bit to find even with a clear round but returning to this course is a positive.

Hauturiere: Second season novice displayed her progression when too good for Shecouldbeanything in Punchestown listed hurdle in February, having been beaten by that mare on her seasonal debut at Limerick. In between, she was a 15-length winner on the inner course here and will race on similar ground today. She possibly got outstayed by stablemate Eabha Grace on latest start in Limerick but still ran a fine race and has a 3lb swing at the weights now.

Jetara: Started her season off with notable scalp of Lily Du Berlais in listed mares bumper at Navan and then put up a fine run on hurdles debut when finding only High Definition too good in big field Leopardstown contest. She set herself up for Cheltenham when second to Ashroe Diamond in Solerina here, but disappointed behind You Wear It Well, pulling hard early and not able to see out her race. Better expected now.

Lot Of Joy: Swedish St Leger winner took her form to another level on the flat when third in Irish Cesarewitch last flat season and that made her an intriguing hurdles recruit. Failed to score when well backed for debut (second to Deep Cave) before running out 12-length winner here in maiden hurdle (inner). She was the choice of Paul Townend when ultimately disappointing in Mares’ Novice at Cheltenham so she has a little to prove now.

Magical Zoe Marked herself down as a mare to follow when coming through well to win the Grade 3 Feathard Lady at Down Royal. That was only her second start over hurdles and her third came in Mares Novice (132 days off in between), where she ran a fine race to be second to You Wear It Well. She might have finished closer with a clearer passage but nevertheless she has scope to improve further now, on just her fourth start over hurdles and with the race fitness possibly giving her a greater edge now.

Night And Day: French recruit made her stable and hurdles debut in this contest last season when she struggled to make an impact. Impressive on sole start this term when a 22-length winner on heavy ground at Clonmel, and given her flat form was over staying trips, this step up should suit. Hard to quantify so can’t be discounted.

Nikini: Started her season early with two wins at Kilbeggan and Listowel before just losing out to Magical Zoe at Down Royal. Like that rival, she was left off for the winter and came back in Mares’ Novices’, but she struggled there - well held in 12th, so has it to prove now.

Pink In The Park Good bumper mare last season but has failed to translate that form to hurdles. Well held on previous two starts so very hard to fancy now.

Princess Zoe Group 1-winning mare turning to hurdles late in her career but has so far shown promise, dead-heating on debut at Punchestown before stepping forward significantly to finish fifth to You Wear It Well in Mares’ Novices’. Her hurdling gives her scope to improve - made bad mistake at the last at Cheltenham - and she will like this soft ground so has to be a player.

Rioga Choice: Fourth to Magical Zoe at Down Royal before taking a mini break and returning in the Paddy Mullins Mares Handicap Hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival - unseated. Showed what she can do when close up third to Hauturiere at Punchestown on next start. Can improve again but very much needs to in this company.

Shecouldbeanything: Limerick bumper winner in November before four lengths too good for Hauturiere back at that track to get off the mark over hurdles. No surprise she struggled against Impaire Et Passe in Moscow Flyer and then had form reversed with Hauturiere back at Punchestown. Completely outran her 66/1 odds in Mares’ Novices’ (sixth) which puts her back in the ballpark here but probably has too much to find.

Whatcouldhavebeen: Moderately rated on the flat but has gone to a better level over hurdles, improving from her first two efforts to win at this course in January. Close up to Ashroe Diamond and Co in Solerina (fourth) but was further back against Hauturiere in listed contest at Punchestown which suggests she has plenty to find.


Ashroe Diamond has the best form in the race but the combination of a big field, heavy ground and longer trip makes the time-of-writing price of 2/1 unappealing. Halka Du Tabert (7/1) could give Honeysuckle’s owner another win in this race. She ran a fine race to be third at Cheltenham where she was only just held by Magical Zoe, and she strikes as one who can prosper up in trip. At bigger prices, 25/1 about Hauturiere seems overly generous given her good record this season.