THE Mares’ Hurdle lived up to its billing as one of the showdowns of the entire Festival, as Honeysuckle and Benie Des Dieux scrapping it out in the closing stages. The former got the verdict by half a length under an inspired ride from Rachael Blackmore, but with enough doubt remaining about which mare is better.

Plenty of pace was injected between four out and three out, after rather tepid fractions earlier on, with the result that the race was much slower than the two-milers up the run-in.