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Lossiemouth Proves Her Dominance in the Unibet Hurdle at Cheltenham
In a remarkable display of skill and determination, Lossiemouth made a faultless return to racing in the highly anticipated Unibet Hurdle at Cheltenham. The five-year-old filly, known for her previous victory in the Triumph Hurdle last March, showcased her exceptional talent as she left her rivals far behind.
Trainer Willie Mullins and owner Rich Ricci took a strategic approach this season by focusing on a spring campaign for Lossiemouth. Recognizing that five-year-olds can face difficulties during their first full campaign, they opted for an alternative method after witnessing Vauban’s struggles following his own triumph in the Triumph Hurdle.
The competition was fierce as Lossiemouth faced Love Envoi, who had previously pushed star mare Honeysuckle to her limits in last year’s Mares’ Hurdle, and Rubaud, an accomplished Grade Two winner. However, these formidable opponents were no match for Lossiemouth’s prowess.
Impressive Performance Secures Favoritism
Racing confidently throughout the event as Townend guided her expertly, Lossiemough quickly established herself as the frontrunner. With immense speed and accuracy when jumping over hurdles,
she effortlessly sprinted almost 10 lengths ahead of Love Envoi after the final hurdle. The crowd was left in awe of her brilliance.
High Expectations for the Mares’ Hurdle
Following her remarkable victory, Lossiemough is now considered a favorite with odds of 4-6 at Coral for the upcoming Mares’ Hurdle. Jockey Paul Townend expressed his delight in riding such a phenomenal horse and praised her flawless performance.
He mentioned that Lossiemouth’s physical and mental maturity compared to last season has played a significant role in her success this year. As an already outstanding juvenile, she didn’t need much improvement, shattering expectations with today’s impressive display on the track.
Ricci confessed to feeling nervous before the race but justified their decision to delay Lossiemough’s return until later in the season. Reflecting on Vauban’s struggles as an example from last year, they wanted to ensure ample time for recovery and preparation.
Ricci explained that despite initial hesitations about traveling with Lossiemouth, they ultimately decided it was worth taking part in this prestigious event. The filly had multiple entries across different races but competing at Cheltenham proved worthwhile considering her stunning performance today.
Ricci emphasized their confidence in Lossiemouth and highlighted future plans including participation in other races like Annie Power at Punchestown and potentially even events overseas.
Making Wise Choices Based on Her Abilities
While there is an entry for Lossiemough in the Champion Hurdle category during Festival season, Ricci leans towards entering her in the Mares’ Hurdle instead. He acknowledges the immense talent of Constitution Hill, but prioritizes ensuring Lossiemough’s well-being and gradual progression.
Considering her youth and potential for growth, Ricci wants to observe how she develops before making any final decisions regarding future races. The ultimate goal is to align her abilities with suitable competitions in order to maximize her success.
A Promising Outlook Ahead
Ricci expressed his excitement for Lossiemough’s future career, stating that she is a fantastic filly with tremendous potential. With high hopes for Cheltenham and beyond, he anticipates continued impressive performances from this remarkable horse.
Ricci concluded by sharing his desire for a victorious start on the first day of the Festival while expressing confidence in their beloved contender. As they eagerly await upcoming events, Ricci remains optimistic about Lossiemouth’s prospects and looks forward to witnessing her extraordinary journey unfold.