Ten to Follow: Benie Des Dieux or Honeysuckle?
When they finally met in the Mares’ Hurdle at Cheltenham back in March, there wasn’t a lot to split Honeysuckle and Benie Des Dieux, but it was the former up and comer who continued her upward curve. In truth though, you could have run the race 20 times and has a slightly differently outcome each time, between two mares who’re very closely match on ability.
Should I pick Honeysuckle or Benie Des Dieux in the Ten to Follow?
This is a question many punters will be asking themselves and in truth, the answer comes down to how best to play the competition. If one or the other is a real favourite of yours, then by all means go ahead and choose them.
But in order to give yourself the best chance of scoring good points, Honeysuckle has to be the choice based on the way she’s likely to be campaigned. Henry De Bromhead won’t be afraid to pitch her in several races before defending her Cheltenham crown. Indeed, she enjoyed three runs en route to March last season and won the Irish Champion Hurdle, which is a Bonus race.
Remember, you always have the transfer window
All told, Honeysuckle is the clear choice, unless Willie Mullins is going to let Benie Des Dieux run more often this time - which seems unlikely. If Honeysuckle doesn’t enjoy the expected success and you still want a top mare in your stable for spring time, then you can always add in Benie Des Dieux at the transfer window.
You could also desert both of them and pin your hopes on a new talent from the mares’ division. Concertista and Dame De Compagnie both won at Cheltenham back in March and are prime candidates to keep on improving through the 2020-2021 season.
Any other mares to note?
Paul Webber’s Indefatigable was a surprise winner of the conditionals’ handicap hurdle at Cheltenham and she could have a useful season once again. Laurina is now in the care of Paul Nicholls and given the way he can transform a horse, it would be little surprise to see the formerly top class Willie Mullins trained mare benefit from a switch to the UK. Wouldn’t it be exciting if she could find her absolute best again?