Marie’s Rock may take in a race at Musselburgh to gain more experience before the Dawn Run Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
The Nicky Henderson-trained five-year-old has created a fine impression, with victory on her jumps debut at Haydock followed by a Listed success at Taunton.
Connections sense another run would her good, and are looking at the Supreme Scottish Trial Novices’ Hurdle on February 2 – although they are wary of a hard race.
“She may go for the Supreme Novices’ Trial at Musselburgh a week on Sunday – over two miles and against the boys,” said Tim Palin, partner and director of racing for owners Middleham Park Racing.
“We’ll enter her for that, see what the opposition looks like. If it looks like she may go off favourite, we’ll probably go there just to get a bit more hurdling experience into her – because she hasn’t jumped too many flights in public.
“She only had to jump four at Taunton last time, when five hurdles were omitted, but we don’t want to give her a hard race five or six weeks before her main event at Cheltenham.
“It may look as though she could start favourite and win there before the Dawn Run Mares’ Novice.
“That’s the race we’re heading for at Cheltenham. She has been quoted for the Supreme – but that does not figure on our radar. It’s the mares’ novice.”