Champion Hurdle Contender Laurina To Test Cheltenham Claims At Sandown
Laurina has been declared to make her seasonal debut in the listed mares hurdle at Sandown on Saturday afternoon.
The Willie Mullins trained star will be making her first start since cruising to a grade 1 success at Fairyhouse back in April and there are high hopes for the potential Champion Hurdle contender.
The star mare hit the headlines back in March when she demolished the field to win the mares novices' hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in one of the most startling racing results of the entire season, and her return has been highly anticipated. The six-year-old has been entered for a number of races over the past few months but has so far failed to make her first start of the campaign which has left fans frustrated.
It does now appear though as if Sandown will be the starting point for a horse many believe could become the first mare since Annie Power to win the Champion Hurdle.
The owners have indicated that they wish to try the horse against the boys in the day one feature at the Cheltenham Festival and a comfortable win at the Esher track this weekend would be the perfect starting point.
Ruby Walsh will make the trip over from Ireland to face just three rivals in the 2m4f contest which is further evidence of the regard the horse is held in, with the race at 1.50pm quickly turning into the must watch race of a busy weekend.
Buveur D'air remains the clear Champion Hurdle favourite but a strong performance from Laurina this weekend is likely to see a genuine challenger emerge for the double Festival hero.