sport

Festival switch for Mares race

The OLBG David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle will be run as the fifth race on the first day of the 2014 Cheltenham Festival.

The race is moving from its usual spot of the sixth to allow Channel 4 to cover Quevega's attempt to win at the meeting for the sixth year running.

The Willie Mullins-trained mare currently shares the record of five consecutive successes at the Festival in the same race with Golden Miller, who won the Cheltenham Gold Cup every year between 1932 and 1936.

Now the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase, previously scheduled as the fifth contest on the Tuesday, switches to the same slot on the Wednesday (March 12).

The National Hunt Chase, which opened proceedings on the Wednesday in 2013, moves to Champion Day (March 11) as the sixth race in 2014.

The programme on day two, will start the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle, with the fifth race that day this year, the Coral Cup, moving forward to be the third contest.

Simon Claisse, director of racing and clerk of the course, said:

"I very much hope that we might see Quevega return to Cheltenham to attempt to win the race for a sixth time, which would be such an amazing achievement.

"Cheltenham has been working on supporting the mares' pattern races over the season for a few years now and by bringing the mares' race onto terrestrial TV this allows further exposure for this category of races."