David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle
|Grade 1 race|
|Race type||Hurdle race|
|Sponsor||Close Brothers Group|
|Distance||2m 3f 200y (4,005 metres)|
|Qualification||Four-years-old and up|
fillies & mares
|Weight||10 st 11 lb (4yo);|
11 st 5 lb (5yo+)
The David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle, currently known for sponsorship purposes as the Close Brothers Mares' Hurdle, is a Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race in Great Britain which is open to mares aged four years or older. It is run on the Old Course at Cheltenham over a distance of about 2 miles and 4 furlongs (2 miles, 3 furlongs and 200 yards, or 4,005 metres), and during its running there are ten hurdles to be jumped. The race is scheduled to take place each year during the Cheltenham Festival in March.
The race's registered title commemorates David Nicholson (1939–2006), who was successful as both a jockey and a trainer in National Hunt racing. Nicholson's record at the Cheltenham Festival included five victories as a jockey, and seventeen as a trainer.
This race was established in 2008, and in its inaugural year it was held on the final day of the Festival on Cheltenham's New Course. It was switched to the opening day on the Old Course in 2009. It was initially given Grade 2 status and was upgraded to Grade 1 status from the 2015 running. From 2012 to 2019 it was run as the OLBG Mares' Hurdle.
Most successful horse (6 wins):
- Quevega – 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Leading jockey (8 wins):
- Ruby Walsh – Quevega (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014), Vroum Vroum Mag (2016), Benie Des Dieux (2018)
Leading trainer (9 wins):
- Willie Mullins – Quevega (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014), Glens Melody (2015), Vroum Vroum Mag (2016), Benie Des Dieux (2018)
|2008||Whiteoak||5||Jason Maguire||Donald McCain, Jr.|
|2009||Quevega||5||Ruby Walsh||Willie Mullins|
|2010||Quevega||6||Ruby Walsh||Willie Mullins|
|2011||Quevega||7||Ruby Walsh||Willie Mullins|
|2012||Quevega||8||Ruby Walsh||Willie Mullins|
|2013||Quevega||9||Ruby Walsh||Willie Mullins|
|2014||Quevega||10||Ruby Walsh||Willie Mullins|
|2015||Glens Melody||7||Paul Townend||Willie Mullins|
|2016||Vroum Vroum Mag||7||Ruby Walsh||Willie Mullins|
|2017||Apple's Jade||5||Bryan Cooper||Gordon Elliott|
|2018||Benie Des Dieux||7||Ruby Walsh||Willie Mullins|
|2019||Roksana||7||Harry Skelton||Dan Skelton|
|2020||Honeysuckle||6||Rachael Blackmore||Henry de Bromhead|
|2021||Black Tears||7||Jack Kennedy||Denise Foster|
- "OLBG Mares' Hurdle elevated to Grade 1 status as BHA announces upgrades to Jump Pattern races for 2014/15". britishhorseracing.presscentre.com. Retrieved 23 July 2014.