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Gala Marceau to spearhead Alexander’s Mares’ Hurdle team

Kenny Alexander is set to send two real contenders to Cheltenham’s Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle, with both Gala Marceau and Telmesomethinggirl attempting to add to Honeysuckle’s two famous triumphs at Prestbury Park.

Trained by Willie Mullins, Gala Marceau was runner-up in the Triumph Hurdle a year ago and has just stablemates Lossiemouth and Ashroe Diamond ahead of her in the ante-post betting with the bookmakers this time around.

Gala Marceau tasted top level success over two and a half miles in Auteuil’s Prix Alain du Breil last May and connections feel a return to further can see her improve on her Town Moor reappearance in more recent times.

Alexander’s racing manager Peter Molony said: “We were very happy with her and Danny (Mullins) said she took a bit of a blow after the last.

“He thought he would definitely have been second and closer to the winner without that and he wasn’t overly hard on her to try to get second as the big day is in a few weeks time.

“The step up in trip is going to help her, she stayed the extra distance well last year in Auteuil and we really think that will play to her strengths.”

Telmesomethinggirl fluctuates around the 25-1 mark in the betting, but Molony has been emboldened by feedback from trainer Henry de Bromhead since she finished as runner-up at Naas in January.

The nine-year-old is already a Festival winner having been part of De Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore’s respective six-timers at the showpiece meeting in 2021, winning the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle.

She was also racing very prominently the following year in the Mares’ Hurdle before being brought down two from home and having spent a year struggling over the larger obstacles, is back where she is most proficient.

“We were over the moon with her performance at Naas. The first day she ran (at Leopardstown) she was still rather gross and I think as she has got older, Henry has found it harder to get her fit,” added Molony.

“Last year was a complete waste of a year and she just didn’t take to the fences, that is a year that can be scratched.

“Henry and his team are very happy with her and I think if she is back to her best, she is going to give all the other ladies something to think about. She’s a very high-class mare in her own right at her best.

“Rachael came in and said it was a case of how far, not if (when she ran in the race previously) and if she gets back to that level she could take a lot of beating – she is certainly a wonderful each-way price.”

Sky News
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