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Mares Hurdle beckons for Unibet Hurdle winner Lossiemouth

3 minute read

Lossiemouth made the successful transition into open company with an easy victory in the Grade 2 Unibet Hurdle at Cheltenham on Saturday.

LOSSIEMOUTH (centre, pink cap) winning the International Hurdle at Cheltenham in England.
LOSSIEMOUTH (centre, pink cap) winning the International Hurdle at Cheltenham in England. Picture: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

The five-year-old mare recorded back-to-back Grade 1 triumphs in the Triumph Hurdle over course and distance at the Festival followed by the Champion Four Year Old Hurdle at Punchestown in April, but has not been seen on the track since.

The Paul Nicholls-trained Rubaud dictated a strong pace from the front, with Harry Fry's Love Envoi making a bid rounding the final bend. Jockey Paul Townend was always sat handily on Lossiemouth throughout the race, and the result never appeared in doubt as the mare to pull clear of the field up the hill. She finished nine-and-a-half lengths ahead of Love Envoi with First Street staying on to steal third from Rubaud.

"I only watched the last 100 yards as I was walking around doing the usual things. She is a very good filly and we have always thought the world of her," said owner Rich Ricci.

"We will go for the Mares' Hurdle I think. I think we learned last year that with these four-year-olds turning into five year olds it is very hard to run in open company.

"She is very good, and she has an entry in the Champion Hurdle, which I think she will probably keep. My guess we would go for the Mares' Hurdle then the Annie Power at Punchestown and then maybe something in France. Maybe next season she is a Champion Hurdle type. Constitution Hill is a monster, and I'm not running away from him, but she is a great filly, and you just want to mind her to see how she goes.

"I was 100 per cent nervous coming into today. I think we took the decision based on Vauban last season not to enter her until after the new year to give her plenty of time to come back. We weren't keen on travelling her then we thought we would travel here. She was entered everywhere. She was in here, and at Doncaster and she was in the Dublin Racing Festival, but we decided to come here today, and it has paid dividends. She is a very nice filly to look forward to. She is brilliant.

"They told me she was bombing at home, so I expected her to run really well today so it is happy days.

"I've never run away from a fight, and I think we have to do what is in line with her abilities. She is young and coming up.

"Wouldn't that be nice (if she could be as good as Annie Power). I don't have a clue if she could be as good. That is a question for Ruby (Walsh) and Willie (Mullins) and those types.

"I'm just delighted with the performance today as she has been great for us."

Paddy Power have shortened Lossiemouth from 15/8 favourite to 10/11 favourite for the Mares Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.


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