Walsh opts for Limini in Mares' showdown with Mag

Vroum Vroum Mag and Ruby Walsh

Vroum Vroum Mag: coming for stablemate Limini in the Mares’ Hurdle

 PICTURE:Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos) 

 By Andrew Dietz 10:23AM 12 MAR 2017 

VROUM VROUM MAG has been declared for Tuesday’s OLBG Mares’ Hurdle but will be without the services of Ruby Walsh, who has been booked to ride stablemate Limini.

The versatile Vroum Vroum Mag, the mount of Paul Townend, held a total of five festival entries – including in three championship contests – but she is set to stick to her own sex and defend the crown she won so impressively last year.

Vroum Vroum Mag and Limini, both owned by the Riccis and trained by Willie Mullins, are set to play their part in an intruiging opening-day contest, which also includes Apple’s Jade in a final field of 18.

The line-up for the same day’s Stan James Champion Hurdle has also been revealed with Vroum Vroum Mag the only absentee after a field of 12, including Yanworth and Buveur D’Air, was declared.

In a surprise move, owner Rich Ricci last week suggested he might run the two star mares against each other and with Walsh on board Limini is favoured in the betting at a best-priced 13-8, while Vroum Vroum Mag can be backed at 11-4.

Mullins’ magic Mares’ record

The Mares’ Hurdle has become one of the races of the week as Apple’s Jade, who has beaten Vroum Vroum Mag and finished second to Limini this season, brings multiple Grade 1-winning form to the table.

Mullins has a near perfect record in the 2m4f contest having won eight of the nine runnings, with his six-time winner Quevega taking the lion’s share.

As well as entering Buveur D’Air against favourite Yanworth in the Champion Hurdle, Nicky Henderson can rely on Brain Power and My Tent Or Yours in a bid to win the race for a record sixth time.

Petit Mouchoir, who claimed the Irish Champion Hurdle for Henry de Bromhead, heads the Irish challenge.

Mullins has booked Walsh for Footpad and Townend for Wicklow Brave in the opening day highlight.

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