Teaplanter previews the mares novices hurdle at Hexham and he thinks the Lucinda Russell trained Rivabodiva can win on her UK debut.
This looks quite a high class mares’ novices hurdle for the venue.
Useful hurdles form is represented by Attention Seeker, Feel The Air and Flower Power while Mardale brings some useful bumper form to the table and Lady Yeats was a decent performer on the level.
However Mardale has provide costly to follow in bumpers and was soundly put in her place last time, while Lady Yeats will surely be much more effective over further than this 2 mile trip.
Smart Talk looked useful in her point to point runs, but she failed to land quite a hefty gamble on her hurdling debut at this venue in May and may be another that will benefit from further in due course.
Wicked Games won the second of her two points and the form has received a boost since, with the 3rd winning next time, but Rose Dobbin is not a yard that we like to back until we see how a horse performs for her and in any case there was a more impressive mare in points that we like here.
Rivabodiva was well touted ahead of her debut at Lisronagh in March and she delivered in the style of a very useful mare. She was settled off the pace for most of the race, but when she was asked for her effort between the last couple of fences, she quickened up very smartly to quickly move from 4th to 1st. She quickly asserted before the final fence from Night Journey and although a slow jump by the runner up exaggerated the winning margin, she was value for at least that and plenty more lengths.
Since then she has changed hands for €60,000 at Goffs and Tom Malone / Lucinda Russell may well have secured a high class mare. Although she is bred to appreciate tests of stamina, she looked to have plenty of gears and this 2 mile trip should not prove to be an issue for her. Lucinda Russell had a winner earlier in the week with Present Flight and we would be very hopeful that Rivabodiva can deliver on her point promise with a win in this warm contest. She is probably an each way bet at the prices but some Russell horses can need their first run in the UK and therefore we are just playing win only.
1.5 points win Rivabodiva at 6/1 with Bet365 and William Hill