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Top mares for World showdown

Fri, 20 April 2012

Super mares Quevega and Voler La Vedette are among 13 seven-day entries for the ladbrokes.com World Series Hurdle at Punchestown on Thursday.

Quevega, one of six Willie Mullins possibles in the three-mile Grade One, has won the race for the last two years. The eight-year-old returns to the track on the back of a fourth consecutive success in the David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Backing up the Mullins assault are Mikael d'Haguenet, Mourad, So Young, Thousand Stars and Zaidpour.

Voler La Vedette was only fourth behind Quevega in this race last spring, but Colm Murphy's charge tries again after running the brilliant Big Buck's to a length and three-quarters in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Henry de Bromhead's Berties Dream, Jonjo O'Neill's Get Me Out Of Here and Oscars Well, from Jessica Harrington's stable, also feature in a quality list of acceptors.

Menorah could bid to supplement his Aintree gains in the Ryanair Novice Chase on the same card. The Philip Hobbs-trained seven-year-old returned to winning ways in the Grade One Manifesto Novices' Chase last week after mixed fortunes in his previous races over the bigger obstacles.

The other potential British raider in the two-mile contest is Alan King's Kumbeshwar, who has finished in the frame in handicap chases at Cheltenham and Aintree this spring.

Mouse Morris has given First Lieutenant another option, adding to his entries in the Growise Champion Novice Chase and thetote.com Punchestown Gold Cup.

The Willie Mullins-trained Blackstairmountain and Edward O'Grady's Shot From The Hip are also among the nine possibles.