Annie Mc seeks to back up her Listed victory at Doncaster with another big run at the same level in the Lady Protectress Mares’ Chase at Warwick on Wednesday.
The Jonjo O’Neill-trained seven-year-old opened her account for the season in tremendous style on Town Moor at the end of the year, after taking on geldings in even better company on her three previous starts.
“In her first two races she was just run out of them against open company which is always harder for mares, but as you know they have good days and bad days,” said the Jackdaws Castle trainer.
“She likes her work and is always up for going on the gallops. She is a straightforward, sound mare.
“She is in great form. I thought this season it would be tough going for her, but she pulled one out of the bag at Doncaster.
“I think that soft ground definitely helped her there as she stayed better than everybody else on that occasion. I was delighted with the performance.
“It should be as soft at Warwick, as when you are up in this sort of class you need everything right for you really.
One person who will be keeping a close eye on the race away from the track is Annie Mc’s biggest fan – reality television star Chris Hughes, who made his name on the 2017 edition of hit ITV2 show Love Island.
O’Neill added: “She really is Chris Hughes’ pal and when he comes in he always goes to see her. He has ridden her out before, not for a while as he has been busy, but when he does get on board her he is a capable rider.
“She is a grand mare and has been a real superstar for us, the owners and everybody involved with her.”
Harry Fry’s Momella steps up in class after winning her last two races over fences.
With conditions and the distance set to suit Momella, Fry is optimistic the nine-year-old can extend her winning run.
“We dropped her back in trip at Exeter, but it was on a stiff track on slow ground. She followed up quite quickly under a penalty on Boxing Day at Wincanton on testing conditions,” said the Dorset handler.
“The ground will hold no fear for her and hopefully the track at Warwick will be fine for her. She has a bit to find on ratings, but she gets some weight from a few of the principals.
“She goes there in great order and hopefully she will run a good race.”
The field is completed by 2019 winner Happy Diva from the yard of Kerry Lee, the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Zambella and Destinee Royale, who represents Venetia Williams.