Cheltenham return in the offing for Mrs Milner

Paul Nolan is considering a run in the Cleeve Hurdle for Mrs Milner before she bids for a second Cheltenham Festival win in March.

The Flemensfirth mare won the Pertemps Final at the showpiece in the Cotswolds last March and made an excellent star to the new campaign when landing a Listed prize at Limerick in October.

Nolan admitted to being disappointed after his charge could finish only fourth in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury on her latest appearance, but is confident she will bounce back.

The Mares’ Hurdle will be her Festival target this time around, while she could first return to Prestbury Park for Festival Trials Day at the end of this month.

Nolan said: “She went into her shell a bit after her run last time at Newbury. It took more out of her than we thought.

“She didn’t run to the line and Bryan (Cooper) was never happy with her. Obviously there must have been something underlying.

“Hopefully we will see a different mare the next day. She looks great at home again and has put on a bit of weight.

“The plan is either to go straight to Cheltenham for the Mares’ Hurdle or go there with a run before in the Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham.”

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