Trainer Stuart Edmunds believes Queenohearts has plenty going for her in Friday’s Weatherbys TBA Jane Seymour Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at Sandown.
The daughter of Flemensfirth landed a Listed bumper at this venue last March and although she was beaten on her hurdling debut at Chepstow, she bounced back to claim another Listed prize at Haydock in December.
She must concede weight to each of her four rivals in Friday’s Grade Two contest – including the Haydock runner-up Danse Idol and the fourth home Papagana – but Edmunds is nevertheless expecting a bold show.
He said: “I think she has most things in her favour – we know she acts on the track, she’ll like the ground and the trip won’t bother her.
“We beat the (Paul) Nicholls mare (Danse Idol) and Oliver Sherwood’s mare (Papagana) at Haydock, although both are better off at the weights this time.
“Our mare is in good form and we’re going into the race hopeful.”
Asked whether Queenohearts could make an appearance at next month’s Cheltenham Festival, the trainer added: “She’s already entered in the Mares’ Hurdle over two and a half miles and she’ll be entered in the mares’ novice as well.
“I think she’d probably need the ground very soft to run in the mares’ novice as I think she’s an out-and-out stayer, but we’ll see.
“We also have the option of missing Cheltenham and going to Ireland for the Grade One mares’ novice hurdle at Fairyhouse on Easter Sunday.”
Papagana won over this course and distance before finishing a shade under three lengths behind Queenohearts on Merseyside.
“She’s a very well-bred filly and she’s improving all the time,” said Sherwood.
“She’s got a bit to do with a couple of them, but if she can get a bit of black type and finished placed, we’ll be happy as Larry.”
Anthony Honeyball’s Duhallow Gesture turns out less than a fortnight after winning at Taunton, while Liberty Bella steps up in class having won her two most recent outings for Brian Eckley.
The Suzy Smith-trained Rosy World completes the line-up.