Aintree option open for Colonel Mustard

Lorna Fowler is thinking of running Colonel Mustard at Aintree next month after his terrific effort at Cheltenham.

The lightly-raced seven-year-old did his trainer proud in taking third place behind the well-backed 11-4 favourite State Man, trained by Willie Mullins, in the 26-runner County Handicap Hurdle.

It was his first run in a handicap after also taking minor honours in the Grade One novice hurdle at Leopardstown last month won by subsequent Ballymore victor, Sir Gerhard.

“He ran a huge race. My biggest worry was we’d run into trouble, but we just ran into another one of Willie Mullins’,” said Fowler.

“He’s home, he’s tired, like he knows he’s had a race but he ultimately seems fine. I think he was old enough and mature enough to handle the handicap. He gave everyone an awful lot of pleasure.”

Colonel Mustard could stay out of graded company again and go for the Orrell Park Handicap Hurdle over two and a half miles on Merseyside.

“He’ll tell us if he’s ready in time. We’ve got Aintree as a possibility,” said Fowler, whose stables are in County Meath.

“He’s lightly raced this season and there’s three weeks, so if he’s OK we’ll consider that. Then there’s a few other options, including Punchestown.

“If Aintree looks a viable option then I think we’d be quite keen to take it. We’d probably go for the two-and-a-half (mile race) but I probably won’t know where I’m at until next week.”

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