Marie’s Rock booked her return to the Cheltenham Pageant in touchdown the SBK Warfield Mares’ Hurdle at Doncaster for Nicky Henderson.
The nine-year-old was the 6-4 favorite for the prolonged three-mile contest, a five-runner affair saved from Ascot that included Henderson-trained stablemates Tweed Skirt and Theatre Glory alongside Jamie Snowden’s You Put on It Nicely.
Marie’s Rock introduced Grade One type to the desk, nonetheless, and was final seen ending second to Bob Olinger within the Relkeel Hurdle at Cheltenham on New Yr’s Day.
This Grade Two was a step up in journey and beneath James Bowen she didn’t look the simplest of rides, lighting up as soon as the crimson hood was eliminated however settling to the duty when having to fend off You Put on It Nicely within the last phases of the race.
An eventual length-and-a-half-winner, Betfair minimize Marie’s Rock from 20-1 to 12-1 to regain the Shut Brothers Mares’ Hurdle crown she gained in 2022, with Lossiemouth on the head of the market after her extremely spectacular Cheltenham victory on Saturday.
“We have been delighted she was in a position to get her head again in entrance there, we do not essentially see her as an out-and-out three-miler and that is most likely not her championship distance,” stated Tom Palin of syndicate homeowners Middleham Park Racing.
“We are going to hold her to the mares’ races, however she’s not ineffective at these kinds of distances and in opposition to the opposition at present she was in a position to reap the benefits of that in what appeared a very good alternative to get her head again in entrance.
“She has been working some very creditable races in defeat, she’s a tricky, sport mare. She carries her head a bit awkwardly, a bit within the ‘Marie’s Rock type’ however James stated when You Put on It Nicely got here to her she wasn’t going to put down and she or he toughed it out.
“It takes an excellent one to go previous her, I assumed the writing was on the wall with that efficiency behind Bob Olinger – he appeared resurgent, the Bob Olinger of outdated, and I felt we misplaced nothing in defeat to him.
“I used to be delighted that she was in a position to affirm her place on the Cheltenham Pageant, clearly life has received a bit of bit more durable within the final 24 hours with Lossiemouth wanting just like the proverbial second coming!
“We have booked our ticket for the mares’ race anyway and we’ll head down that route.”