Bonttay (Westerner) Wins The Mares Maiden Hurdle At Exeter

Cheltenham Considered For Talented Westerner Mare

Listed bumper winner Bonttay (6m Westerner - Ben’s Turn, by Saddlers’ Hall) added a hurdle win to her fine record when drawing clear at Exeter on Wednesday.

The Fergal O’Brien-trained mare won all her starts last season, culminating in Listed success at Cheltenham, and finished second in the 2022 running on her seasonal reappearance in November. A close second on her hurdle bow next time out, she was sent off favourite on Wednesday and raced prominently throughout under Connor Brace. Asked to quicken from the third last, she led before the next and was ridden clear on the run-in to win by seven and a half lengths.

“We think she's a very smart mare,” Fergal O’Brien said after the race. “We'll definitely look at the Mares' Novice Hurdle – She loves Cheltenham.”

O’Brien also owns Bonttay with Cedric Brookes, who raced the mare’s dam Ben’s Turn to win on four occasions. The mare’s star produce was bred by Pat Connell.