Bardenstown Lad out to book Festival ticket at Musselburgh

Bardenstown Lad is to put his Cheltenham credentials on the line in the bet365 Scottish Stayers’ Novices’ Hurdle at Musselburgh on Saturday.

John McConnell already has Mahler Mission pencilled in for the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the Festival following his Grade Two success at Doncaster on Saturday and is hoping Bardenstown Lad can join him on March 18.

The seven-year-old is reported to be in good form ahead of his first appearance since winning a novice event over three miles at Cheltenham in October.

“He’s good. He’s entered in Musselburgh at the weekend and will go there – a three-mile novice hurdle at the festival going on there,” said County Meath-based McConnell.

“He’s in good form and hopefully he’ll go to Cheltenham after that. He’ll go for the Albert Bartlett – he’s a three-miler.”

Gordon Elliott’s Where It All Began, winner of a maiden hurdle at Tramore, is a second Irish possible among the seven entries.

The home defence is led by Martin Keighley’s Brorson and the Donald McCain-trained Silver Flyer, who have both won their last two races.

Last year’s Scottish National hero Mighty Thunder is among 11 entries for the bet365 Edinburgh National Handicap Chase.

The nine-year-old, trained by Lucinda Russell, has to bounce back from being pulled up in the Coral Welsh National on his latest start. Highland Hunter, who was runner-up behind Iwilldoit that day, is among the 11 possibles.

The bet365 Scottish Festival Trials weekend concludes on Sunday when Doctor Parnassus bids to build on his recent hurdles debut success at Ascot.

Dan Skelton’s four-year-old, who holds an entry in the JCB Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham, is one of 10 possibles for the bet365 Scottish Triumph Hurdle.

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