Jessica Harrington reports Magic Of Light to be in fine shape as she bids to repeat last year’s success in the bet365 Mares’ Hurdle at Ascot on Saturday.
Magic Of Light took this prize on the way to finishing second in the Grand National behind Tiger Roll.
The nine-year-old arrives in good heart after enjoying a bloodless victory by 99 lengths over fences at Newbury last month.
“She’s there and is settled in,” said Harrington.
“She’s probably up against it a bit more this year than last year and a little bit different ground.
“She’s in great order. She loves that trip.”
Her main rival could be Oliver Sherwood’s Papagana, who took third place in the Grade One Marsh Hurdle at Ascot on her latest start after landing a Listed contest at Kempton when Culture De Sivola was second.
“It was the obvious target after the Long Walk (registered name of the Marsh) – going back against her own sex. If she produces that form, she’s got to go very close,” Sherwood told Sky Sports Racing.
“To be quite honest, when Paisley Park came out (at Ascot), I thought she’d take a lot of beating, so I was a tad disappointed straight after the race. Having said that, I would have taken finishing third in the Long Walk at the beginning of the season.
“She’s run all the way to the line and looking back at it, I was pleased. I was probably expecting a bit too much beforehand as it’s a different ball game taking on the boys in Grade One company.
“She’s back in her own league on Saturday. The ground is going to be pretty soft and tiring, which she’s handled before, and I see no reason why she can’t do it again.
“She’s going there with a live chance.”
Noel Williams switches Sensulano back to hurdles for the first time this season after winning her last two races over fences.
“It’s a race for her that fitted in. We’ve wanted to step her up to three miles, so I’m hoping that will help and mitigate the fact we’re dropping down to hurdles, but she seems in great order,” said the Blewbury handler.
“It’s a Grade Two mares’ race so it looks competitive, but I’d say she should certainly give a good account of herself and I’m hoping she can add a bit more black type to her page.
“The top two look like they’ll be tough horses to crack, but the one thing is she’ll be toughing it out. I imagine she’ll be reverting to fences after this.”