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Quevega to edge titanic World Series duel

THEY are both rated 158, they are both aged eight, they are both Grade One winners, they are both mares, they both get a seven-pound allowance. They are both very hard to separate.

Today's feature race at the Punchestown Festival is the Ladbrokes.com World Series Hurdle, where two-time winner of the race Quevega takes on the ever-improving Voler La Vedette.

Quevega is unbeaten on her last five starts, two of which were in this race, and the other three were in the David Nicholson Mares Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

She is a very high quality mare and proved that when also finishing third to Solwhit in the Rabobank Champion Hurdle at this meeting a few years ago.

Quevega gets a tentative nod for the intriguing battle, but Voler La Vedette will be no pushover.

Colm Murphy's mare ran a cracking race when second to Big Buck's at Cheltenham last month and probably gave him as big a scare as he got in all of his 16 consecutive wins, but at the end he was just too good.

There will be little between them and at the prices, many will side for Voler La Vedette, but Quevega has the experience of winning this race and is perfectly proven over the trip and on the ground.

The Ryanair Novice Chase is one of the races that was lost due to the inclement weather conditions, which is a shame, although that is likely to be rescheduled for later in the week.

Today's Coleman Tunnelling Handicap Chase also became a victim of the weather, but the La Touche did pass the inspection and the famous cross country race will go ahead this afternoon at its new time of 5.30.

It is sure to be a very exciting race in which Uncle Junior will need to put up an incredible performance to win as he has 12st7lbs to carry on heavy ground, and while he may have the quality to do that, maybe a better bet would be to back De Danu at massive odds each way.

There is a decent roll of honour beside the concluding bumper and it wouldn't be a surprise if we hear plenty more about today's winner.

Impressive point to point and bumper winner Buckers Bridge is the choice, but cases can be made for many including God Of The Kop, Morning Royalty and Ted Veale.

In the opening Stephens Green Hibernian Club Hurdle, which now takes place at 4.50pm, Nelson’s Bridge is given a chance to cancel out his poor run at Cheltenham and bounce back to winning ways for the in-form Nicky Henderson yard.


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