Cheltenham contest next for Quinn charge

January 06, 2015 08:38:02 UK

Trainer John Quinn is going to give Aurore D’Estruval a break before making an attempt on the OLGB David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival.

The mares contest has been dominated in recent times by the brilliant Quevega, who set a new festival record by winning the last six renewals.

With Quevega now retired another Willie Mullins star, Annie Power, is 2.10 to win the race, with Aurore D’Estruval 5.00 and Morning Run 9.00.

Aurore D’Estruval was victorious in a mares contest at Sandown on Saturday having previously impressed when following home Paul Nicholls’ Irving in the Fighting Fight at Newcastle.

Winning in sticky ground at Sandown, Quinn says the best preparation for Cheltenham is a rest.

“She’s come out of the race fine, but she won’t have another run before Cheltenham,” said Quinn.

“I don’t think she needs one in truth and it turned into a hard enough race in very gluey ground. It’s only nine weeks away anyway, so we’ll freshen her up for that.”

Annie Power, second in the World Hurdle last March, has yet to race this season having been found to be lame before her intended seasonal reappearance in the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse in December.

Her trainer is hopeful she can be readied in time for Cheltenham but no progress has been reported from the Closutton camp since early December.

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