Lossiemouth annihilates her rivals, but who will she take on at the Cheltenham Festival?

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  • The Willie Mullins-trained 2023 JCB Triumph Hurdle heroine Lossiemouth annihilated her rivals with a superb success in the 2m1f Grade Two Unibet International Hurdle on Cheltenham Racecourse’s Festival Trials Day on Saturday (27 January).

    But although the five-year-old daughter of Great Pretender holds an entry in the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, the Mares’ Hurdle appears the more likely target in March.

    “We have always thought the world of her,” said owner Rich Ricci. “Constitution Hill is a monster and I’m not running away from him [in the Champion Hurdle], but she is a great filly and you just want to mind her to see how she goes.”

    Lossiemouth maintained her 100% record at Cheltenham after taking the lead approaching the last hurdle and she went on to score under jockey Paul Townend by a facile nine and a half lengths from Love Envoi for trainer Harry Fry and jockey Johnny Burke, with the Nicky Henderson-trained First Street third under James Bowen, who had already recorded a win on Cheltenham Festival contender Sir Gino earlier in the day.

    Lossiemouth: “She was bombing at home”

    The beautiful grey Lossiemouth has now won all bar one of her seven career starts. According to Rich Ricci, the mare will head to the Annie Power at Punchestown after the Cheltenham Festival in March, then “maybe something in France”.

    “Maybe next season she is a Champion Hurdle type,” he said. “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.

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

    “She is a very nice filly to look forward to. She is brilliant. 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. I’m just delighted with the performance today as she has been great for us.”

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