Impervious confirmed for Mares’ Novices Hurdle

Trainer Colm Murphy says Impervious is still on track for the Cheltenham Festival (10/1 Mares’ Novices Hurdle) despite not running since losing her unbeaten record at Fairyhouse in November.

The five-year-old won her first three races, taking victories at Cork, Listowel, and Down Royal.

The latter was a Grade Three success with the Paul McKeon-owned horse finishing five lengths clear of Sit Down Lucy.

She was one of the pre-race favourites when stepping up to Grade One level for the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse but wasn’t able to maintain her form.

Statuaire (10/1 Mares’ Novices Hurdle) won that day with Impervious finishing a disappointing fifth from seven, six-and-a-half lengths behind the winner.

Worries over a slight injury problem mean she has not had a run since but she is expected to be ready for next month’s Festival. 

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Rivalries are set to be renewed with Statuirare, whose impressive Grade One win was followed by a run in the Tattersalls Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown earlier his month, though she could only manage sixth place.

“She is well and will go for the mares’ novice hurdle,” said Murphy.

“We had a little hiccup after she ran last time, so we said we would go straight there with her. We are fortunate enough to do that because she has plenty of experience and it is not a worry.

“It was nothing serious. She had little issues initially when she was young and it was a recurring thing, but she is fine and on course for Cheltenham.”

The current ante-post favourite for the Mares’ Novices Hurdle is 3/1 Allegorie De Vassy, who was a double winner at Fairyhouse in January, including the Grade Three Solerina Mares Novice Hurdle.

Brandy Love, who finished second to Allegorie De Vassy, is also a 4/1 contender, with her last win coming in a 24-strong field hurdle at Naas in December. 

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