Top-class mare Laurina made it six wins from as many starts since joining Willie Mullins when taking the Listed Quevega Mares' Hurdle at Punchestown by half a dozen lengths. Taking over from stablemate Stormy Ireland after the second last, the daughter of Spanish Moon only had to be nudged out to register a comfortable succces. While she hasn't achieved anywhere near as much as market rivals Buveur D'Air or Apples Jade, the ex-French trained mare will head to Prestbury Park as the unknown quantity of the field on the basis that nobody knows how good she really is. All being well, we will find out on Tuesday 12th March.
I have spent most of this week working on the forthcoming edition of Ahead On The Flat. On Tuesday afternoon, I interviewed Karl Burke and got a rundown on his ever increasingly powerful team at Spigot Lodge outside Middleham. Stable star Laurens is reportedly in tip top shape and a plan for the four year old has already been made. Understandably, Karl is optimistic of another very successful season with plenty of firepower at his disposal. I spoke to Karl while he was travelling to watch Liverpool play Bayern Munich at Anfield. I didn't realise he was a Liverpool supporter but I am an even bigger fan of his now.
With the Cheltenham Festival less than three weeks away, please don't forget to place your order for the One Jump Ahead Festival Update. Priced at £10.00, please go to the Publications section of the site. I am very much looking forward to heading to Ditcheat on Sunday week to hear Paul Nicholls' views on his team for Cheltenham. He will be sending arguably his strongest squad for a number of years, spearheaded by leading Gold Cup contender Clan Des Obeaux.
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