Tag Archive for: Lorna Fowler

Fowler putting Colonel Mustard on Champion Hurdle case

Lorna Fowler intends to roll the dice and send Colonel Mustard to the Unibet Champion Hurdle after his second-placed Kingwell Hurdle run.

The nine-year-old has been consistently hitting the frame over both hurdles and fences in recent seasons, winning only twice in his career but placing second on nine occasions.

His CV includes a third place behind State Man in the 2022 County Hurdle and again in the Paddy Power Champion Hurdle at Punchestown last April.

At Wincanton he was reverting to hurdles at Grade Two level after a brief spell over fences before Christmas, and in a field of five he started at 5-1 under Daryl Jacob.

He was ridden patiently in heavy conditions and although he had ground to make up in the home straight, he did his level best and chased home Nemean Lion to go down by a length and a half with Goshen 15 lengths behind him in third place.

“We were so proud of him, that is undoubtedly the best he has ever finished in a race,” said Fowler.

“The horse that won is vastly improving, we missed at the second-last but we were gaining on him.

“All credit to the winner, of course, but I think he ran a huge race and although it is frustrating to come second again, if you look at the other side of the picture we have a horse that has run out of his skin for the last four years.

“He’s done it in the best company on I don’t know how many occasions, lest we forget how lucky we are to have him.

“He’s completely genuine, 100 per cent, but he’s always had a little look around him to see what everyone else is doing, whereas this time he really had his eye on the one in front and he put his head down and battled.”

Colonel Mustard has an entry for the Champion Hurdle and after his Wincanton run connections are keen to take on the challenge, especially given the chestnut has run some of his best races at the big meetings.

“We’re going to go for the Champion Hurdle, it’s not easy to find races for him to win,” said Fowler.

“How often do you have a chance to run in a Champion Hurdle?

“People are talking about the race cutting up and yes, it isn’t a winning opportunity on paper at all, but does he have a chance of getting a place? Absolutely.

“I’m not saying he will be placed, of course, but he does have a chance in my opinion and we have to take it.

“He is the kind of horse that just loves a big occasion, he does raise his game.

“At the end of the day, horse racing is unpredictable on every single level, we’ve got to get there but so does every other horse – Constitution Hill has got to get there, State Man has got to get there.

“You’re on a tightrope at all times and little things can happen and change the landscape, so you’ve got to take the opportunities that are staring you in the face.”

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Rubaud returns to Wincanton with Kingwell in his sights

Rubaud returns to the scene of one of his finest hours in pursuit of further riches in the Jennings Bet Kingwell Hurdle on Saturday.

Paul Nicholls’ six-year-old has won six of his 11 starts over the smaller obstacles and struck at Wincanton in the Elite Hurdle earlier in the season, his fourth win in a row.

Since then he has faced the mammoth task of taking on Constitution Hill at Kempton in the Christmas Hurdle and also had the misfortune of bumping into an imperious Lossiemouth at Cheltenham in the Unibet Hurdle.

He now returns to what appears slightly easier company and despite the champion trainer having some concerns about conditions, he heads to the Somerset venue as the highest rated in the field.

“He’s been a very consistent horse, but the ground would be a slight worry to me,” said Nicholls.

“He did run very well as a novice on soft ground at Kempton on Boxing Day, but most of his form has been on good ground.

“He’s a bit stronger now, but he enjoys right-handed and an easy two miles. Our intention is to go here and then one more run later down the line, nothing fancy, then he will be going chasing. That’s when you will see the best of him.”

Rubaud in action at Ayr last season
Rubaud in action at Ayr last season (Jane Barlow/PA)

Rubaud had Lorna Fowler’s Colonel Mustard three lengths adrift when they finished first and second in last season’s Scottish Champion Hurdle and the duo are set to lock horns yet again as chasing ambitions are finally put to one side for the Irish raider.

“I think his time over fences is not going to bear the fruits we hoped, but we had a go at chasing because his mark is high enough over hurdles,” said Fowler.

“We decided after Newbury to revert back to hurdles and have always had the Kingwell as sort of a plan from then.

“I’m very happy with the horse and hopefully he will travel OK – he usually does. He does have a massive weight turn around with Rubaud from when they met at Ayr, Rubaud is undoubtedly an improving horse and Mustard will certainly have to bring his A game to be able to beat him.”

Colonel Mustard is no stranger to trips to the UK having placed at the Cheltenham Festival in 2022 and also going close at Ascot and Kelso – as well as Ayr – in the past.

Fowler would have preferred better conditions for this latest raid across the Irish Sea, but with over £41,000 on offer to the winner, she feels it is a risk well worth taking.

She went on: “The ground is not really what I want, but then I’m not sure it’s what any of them want and Wincanton have put on some very good prize-money. I have UK-based owners and we’re all keen to have a go and we think it’s a good opportunity and worth a shot.

Colonel Mustard in action at Cheltenham
Colonel Mustard in action at Cheltenham (Mike Egerton/PA)

“Colonel Mustard hasn’t run for a while and is back over hurdles, but he did have a schooling race at Thurles a few weeks ago and hopefully he is in the zone to run his best race.”

Nigel Twiston-Davies won this with the ill-fated I Like To Move It last year and attempts to go back-to-back with Guard Your Dreams, while Gary Moore also has fond memories of the race and returns dual-winner Goshen to Wincanton sporting first-time blinkers.

The field of five is rounded off by Kerry Lee’s Nemean Lion who the handler says is in “great form” as he prepares to drop back in trip after a brave second in Kempton’s Lanzarote Hurdle.

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Colonel chasing Francome glory for Lorna Fowler

It could be a key afternoon in the chasing career of Colonel Mustard as he bids to open his account up against Paul Nicholls’ Hermes Allen in the Coral John Francome Novices’ Chase at Newbury.

Lorna Fowler’s eight-year-old has come close to big-race success on raiding missions from Ireland in the past, most notably finishing third to State Man in the County Hurdle in 2022, while also picking up a silver medal in both the Morebattle Hurdle and Scottish Champion Hurdle earlier this year.

The most consistent of operators, he has finished outside the podium positions on only three occasions in 17 career starts.

However, he arrives in Berkshire for Grade Two action still a maiden over fences having bumped into some of the best novices around in Ireland, including at Down Royal on his seasonal debut, where Gordon Elliott’s Found A Fifty proved too good in a race where plenty of the obstacles were omitted.

“He’s in great form and I was very happy with him going into Down Royal,” explained Fowler.

“He was never going to beat that winner, but it was a very unsatisfactory race with so many of the jumps taken out. It not so much didn’t give me as many answers as I wanted, but more so the race I wanted to give him some experience.

“The run physically will have brought him and I think Newbury will suit him a lot.

“He does need to find his rhythm with his jumping and that will be key. I know it’s a pretty good race, but he is a classy horse and if he can pull himself together and get his jumping OK, then I think we’ve definitely got a chance.”

It will be just the third time Colonel Mustard has raced beyond the minimum two miles, but Fowler is confident a trip is now what he needs to put his best foot forward and break his fences duck at the fourth time of asking.

“I think the two and a half is important to him and I do think he stays,” she continued. “He has tried the trip twice and circumstances wouldn’t have seen him in his best light in both.

“Rachael (Blackmore) rode him at Down Royal and she seems to think he will stay and I’m very confident he will also.

“In terms of D-Day, he is going to have to produce it over fences, otherwise we are lucky to be able to go back over hurdles.

“I feel like he hasn’t had his best shot over fences yet, but it does need to happen otherwise we will be back over hurdles.”

Hermes Allen was brilliant in the Challow Hurdle last season
Hermes Allen was brilliant in the Challow Hurdle last season (Nigel French/PA)

Standing in Colonel Mustard’s way is Hermes Allen, with the Grade One scorer returning to the scene of his Challow Hurdle success as he starts life over the larger obstacles.

Although failing to make his mark at the spring festivals, he is tipped for big things over fences and his handler is keen to get him on course after a slight setback pushed back his original start date.

“We planned to start him over fences earlier this season until a minor foot issue put paid to that, but he is fine now and he will have benefitted from a racecourse gallop with Complete Unknown at Newbury early last week,” Nicholls told Betfair.

“Hermes Allen had a wind op in the summer and his schooling over fences at home has been very good, but given the time he lost, I’m sure we can get him fitter. I’m sure he can improve on whatever he does on Friday.

“He was a star for us last season with an impressive success in the Grade One Challow Hurdle at this course and could be exciting over fences.”

Sarah Humphrey is not a familiar name on the big days, but Nickle Back could put her name in lights if building on his two wide-margin victories over fences to date.

Humphrey said: “For a small yard to have a potentially top-class horse, it’s very exciting and a big deal for us.

“He was always going to be a chaser, but things didn’t go to plan for his novice hurdling year and then last season we were on a recovery mission from something else, but he was always going to be a chaser and the plan was always to go chasing, so I’m glad it has worked out so far.

“It’s all very well the handicapper giving him a high rating and obviously he has won his first two (chase outings) easily, but it’s a big step up in grade and class and the quality of horses he is against, so we will find a lot more about him.”

Marble Sands in action over hurdles at Huntingdon
Marble Sands in action over hurdles at Huntingdon (Tim Goode/PA)

Marble Sands, trained in partnership by David Killahena and Graeme McPherson, was not disgraced in Graded contests over hurdles last term and impressed at Ayr on his chasing bow.

Nicky Henderson’s No Ordinary Joe was runner-up to Iroko at the Cheltenham Festival and with the form of that Martin Pipe working out extremely well, he also merits respect on his debut over fences.

Emma Lavelle’s Tightenourbelts completes the field following a taking 10-length romp on his introduction to the larger obstacles at Ludlow.

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Fowler aiming for memorable Scottish Champion Hurdle triumph

Lorna Fowler may train in Ireland, yet she is a fiercely proud Scot and would like nothing better than to win one of the biggest races north of the border, starting with Saturday’s Coral Scottish Champion Hurdle at Ayr.

The County Meath-based handler is hoping Colonel Mustard will be able to shoulder 11st 8lb to success in the valuable two-mile Grade Two handicap, having finished runner-up to Benson in Morebattle Hurdle at Kelso last month.

“I’m not so worried about the weight, because First Street has kept the weights down – that said, First Street might go and take the honours!” said Fowler.

“We want to go and conquer Scotland this time. We went very close last time. I’m very happy with him, we just need a bit of luck – I’m confident in his ability, but we need a slice of luck in the race for it to pan out.

“I have a lot of respect for the race and there are a lot of very good horses in it. So it is a strong race, but at the moment I’m happy with him and we will go to do our best.

“He seems to have had softer ground all year, but good to soft would be perfect for him.

“He’ll kick or bite anybody at the moment. I’ll be disappointed if he doesn’t bring his A game when he’s in that good a form.”

“We would not be taking him if we were not going with confidence, but in a ferociously competitive handicap, we have to make out own luck. There are plenty of positives.”

Among his 11 rivals is Salsada, who was runner-up in a Grade Two mares’ hurdle at Doncaster in January, her sole run since June last year.

Salsada has had her handicap mark protected
Salsada has had her handicap mark protected (Mike Egerton/PA)

Trainer Brian Ellison has been patient in laying her out for this prize.

He said: “She ran really well at Donny and we kept her back for this race as she’s quite well handicapped still, and we didn’t want to run her to spoil her handicap mark.

“She runs well fresh and good ground will be ideal for her.

“I think we are 3lb wrong at the weights but Patrick Wadge takes off 5lb, so that should help.”

Kelso’s Grade Two Premier Novices’ Hurdle winner Nemean Lion represents Kerry Lee, having his first run in a handicap off a mark of 135.

“We’ve no idea where his ceiling is or where his competitive mark is,” said Lee. “It is his first time out of novice company, too, and it looks a very competitive race.

Nemean Lion makes his handicap debut for Kerry Lee
Nemean Lion makes his handicap debut for Kerry Lee (Nick Potts/PA)

“He is in really good form, but we really need the rain on Saturday. I don’t know whether it will turn up or not.”

Milkwood has not won since landing this prize two years ago for Neil Mulholland, and the nine-year-old bids to regain his crown having been pulled up in the County Hurdle at Cheltenham.

“He got stuck in the mud at Cheltenham, but there was nowhere else to go,” said the handler.

“The ground went against him that day and hopefully the ground will be better, as he is better on decent ground.

“This looks the ideal spot for him and we’re hoping he will run his race.”

Milkwood took the Scottish Champion Hurdle in 2021
Milkwood took the Scottish Champion Hurdle in 2021 (Jeff Holmes/PA)

There is a field of nine for the CPMS Novices’ Champion Handicap Chase, where Joe Tizzard’s Reynoldstown winner Oscar Elite attempts to gain compensation for not having the best of runs behind Corach Rambler in the Ultima at the Festival, where he finished fifth.

Tizzard said: “He just missed the break a bit at Cheltenham and ended up much further back than we really wanted, but Harry (Cobden) then didn’t panic, he just crept into it and had every chance turning in, so ultimately I thought it was a good run.

“He is only a novice for another week, so we are just trying to take advantage of that.

Oscar Elite has enjoyed a fine season for Joe Tizzard
Oscar Elite has enjoyed a fine season for Joe Tizzard (Steve Paston/PA)

“It’s definitely the right race for him and he likes a bit of better ground as well. We’ve been throwing him at the deep end and he’s not disgraced himself. There are nine runners and he should enjoy himself.”

Sail Away has trainer Dan Skelton in bullish mood after the seven-year-old chased home Jetoile at Chepstow.

“We had Sail Away in the Scottish National, but this race looks ideal for him,” said Skelton. “He ran OK when second at Chepstow on his return and I think he’s got a right good chance.”

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Fowler hoping Mustard can make Festival date

Lorna Fowler remains “hopeful” stable star Colonel Mustard will be fit for next week’s Cheltenham Festival despite suffering an overreach in the Morebattle Hurdle at Kelso on Saturday.

The eight-year-old finished third behind Champion Hurdle aspirant State Man and the high-class First Street in the County Hurdle 12 months ago and connections are keen to have another crack at the fiercely-competitive handicap from only 3lb higher in the weights.

However, his participation at Prestbury Park was thrown into some doubt after he returned to Ireland with what is hoped to be a minor injury following his runner-up finish in the Scottish Borders.

Fowler said: “We’ll see how we go. If we get a full green light we’ll definitely go to the County Hurdle, but we’ll just have to make sure we’re happy with that overreach.

“At the moment I’d say we’re pretty hopeful. It’s 50-50 from the point of view that we’ll only go there if he’s 100 per cent.

“If I run him I won’t be worried about the overreach. We just want to check there’s nothing going on that we don’t know about, but he’s in brilliant form I have to say.”

After chasing home Arkle favourite El Fabiolo over fences at Fairyhouse in December, Colonel Mustard reverted to the smaller obstacles at Kelso, mainly due to the fact Morebattle Hurdle sponsors bet365 were offering a £100,000 bonus to the winner if they can follow up in any race at Cheltenham.

The Sandy Thomson-trained Benson looks set to go in search of the lucrative double, with the Coral Cup his likely target, after reeling in Colonel Mustard on the run-in and going on to score by two lengths.

Fowler admitted to being “heartbroken” to be beaten, but is trying to take positives out of the defeat.

“I was heartbroken. All credit to the winner, but I’m not going to pretend I wasn’t gutted because I thought we had it,” she added.

“I went to Kelso with a lot of confidence and tried the big double. Obviously it hasn’t worked, but he ran super and the positive is if we do go to Cheltenham, we don’t have to carry a 5lb penalty.

“The negative is he had a long journey and back and has this overreach to deal with, but having said that, if it’s a conclusive go-ahead with that and I’m happy, I don’t think that will stand in his way.

“He’s a very lightly-raced and fresh horse this season and travels well, so given his form you’d like to think he has a bit of a chance.”

Fowler confirmed 3lb claimer Kieran Buckley will keep the ride should Colonel Mustard line up in the Cotswolds on Friday week.

She said: “Kieran will take 3lb off his back. He knows the horse and that would look the sensible thing to do, definitely.

“He knows Cheltenham and has ridden a winner there before, so that all helps too.”

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Colonel Mustard heads to Kelso to set out Cheltenham case

Colonel Mustard will aim to snaffle the huge carrot of a £100,000 bonus for any horse who wins the bet365 Morebattle Hurdle at Kelso on Saturday and follows up at the Cheltenham Festival.

Third in last year’s County Hurdle, the Lorna Fowler-trained eight-year-old is one of two Irish raiders who line up for the competitive two-mile handicap.

He returns to hurdling, having had two runs over fences, the last of which saw him finish runner-up to Arkle favourite El Fabiolo over two miles at Fairyhouse.

County Meath-based Fowler said: “We were going to go for the Betfair Hurdle. That was very much the big plan, but the ground was no good at Newbury.

“We thought we could go straight for the County Hurdle, but with the bonus on offer, it made sense to have a go. It is a great carrot. It is a very hard carrot to get your hands on, but it has to be worth a go.

“He is very lightly-raced this year, so is a really fresh horse. He has travelled before, so every box was ticked to have a go. The plan is to go to the County afterwards, if all is well.

“The ground is perfect for him, but it will be perfect for everybody else. At the moment, everything is positive.”

Emmet Mullins won this race two years ago with The Shunter, who went on to secure the bonus when taking the Paddy Power Plate at the Festival.

He saddles Mctigue, who has won two of his four starts over hurdles, including a Grade Two contest at Auteuil, since joining the yard from Jim Bolger.

“We are not the only ones after the bonus,” said Mullins. “He is in good form and we’ll get that race out of the way before thinking about the Festival.

“We have different options there. In England, you run off the weight you are allotted, so that is against us for the Festival. That might narrow our options.

“Even if he wins the Morebattle, he won’t carry a penalty in the Boodles, so he can’t go above 11st 12lb, so that’s another angle for him.

“He has a hardiness and experience for a young horse. He was a two-year-old Flat winner and a very precocious horse and has taken to the jumps very well.”

The British challenge is spearheaded by L’Eau Du Sud, who threw down a strong challenge in the latter stages of a two-mile Kempton handicap over Christmas, only to make a blunder at the last and finish third to No Ordinary Joe.

Dan Skelton is not eyeing the Morebattle Hurdle bonus
Dan Skelton is not eyeing the Morebattle Hurdle bonus (Jacob King/PA)

Trainer Dan Skelton is not eyeing the bonus, however.

He said: “He ran nicely. He’s next year’s chaser. It is obviously a highly competitive race, but I’m very happy with him and I’d give him a little chance.

“He’s not in anything at Cheltenham. The Morebattle is the right race for him. He is a young horse. I don’t want go again that quickly. A bonus is only a bonus if you can win it – and I don’t think we can.

“If we can win the Morebattle, I’ll be very happy. I don’t have to follow up at Cheltenham for it to be worthwhile.”

Gary Moore’s Teddy Blue will make an 800-mile round trip from his West Sussex yard in search of a second win over hurdles.

Joshua Moore hopes Teddy Blue will handle the travelling
Joshua Moore hopes Teddy Blue will handle the travelling (Julian Herbert/PA Wire)

Placed on his last two attempts in Grade Three company, including when third to Aucunrisque in the Betfair Hurdle, assistant trainer Joshua Moore is hopeful he will handle the long journey.

He said: “He ran well last time. He seems well at home. It is a long way to travel, but it just depends on how he travels up there.

“He is in the County and Supreme Novices’ Hurdle as well. Which one he will run in, I’m not sure.

“It is a big prize and well worth going up there for.”

Last year’s winner Cormier returns for Brian Ellison, having had two unsuccessful chase starts this term.

Ellison said: “We will go back chasing next year. He would have finished closer in the County last year (when seventh), but for being squeezed out coming up the rail.

“He’s in good form, in fine fettle and always runs his race – he’s tough. He was only a cheap horse and he’s done well.

“He won’t be going to the County. We will probably go to the Swinton Hurdle at Haydock.

“He finished second in the Swinton a couple of years ago and got brought down in it last year. He has run well in it and there are other races to run in as well. ”

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Colonel Mustard set to make hurdles switch in Morebattle

Colonel Mustard switches to hurdles at Kelso on Saturday with Lorna Fowler hoping to secure the first leg of an audacious quick-fire double in the bet365 Morebattle Hurdle.

Third in the County Hurdle behind State Man at last year’s Cheltenham Festival, the eight-year-old was sent novice chasing in the early part of this season and was last seen finishing a well-beaten second to Arkle hope El Fabiolo.

Fences were soon placed on the back-burner with the Betfair Hurdle entering the picture, but when the unseasonably quick ground ruined that idea, a new plan was quickly hatched, which begins at one of Fowler’s old stomping grounds this weekend.

The winner of the Kelso handicap will qualify for a bonus of £100,000 if following up in any race at the Festival and although the County Meath-based handler insists the Morebattle Hurdle is definitely plan A, victory could set up a return to the County Hurdle in just over two weeks.

“We just need to jump through a few more hoops,” said Fowler. “He’s doing his last piece of work today, but I’m very happy with him and as long as we get through today, then we’ll be all set to go for the Morebattle.

“The plan had been to go for the Betfair Hurdle, the ground scuppered that one and then we kind of had our eye on the County, but this was kind of staring us in the face a little bit.

“Obviously it is a massive ask to travel twice, but the bonus is a very tasty carrot to have a go at. It’s my old stomping ground and I’m happy with any excuse to go back to Kelso. The ground looks like it will be in good nick and we’re all set.

“The target is very much the Morebattle – it’s a very valuable race and it fully merits being our target – but the double is in mind given the bonus that is on offer. It’s plenty of travelling but hopefully it is well worth a go.”

No stone has been left unturned by Fowler in her bid to pull off the feat achieved by Emmet Mullins with The Shunter in 2021, and Colonel Mustard has been given plenty of practice over the smaller obstacles since his short spell over fences.

Fowler added: “He’s been back over hurdles and schooled over the white ones a couple of times as well, so we have made sure he knows what they are like. It does make a difference to them, they definitely see them.

“We also gave him a schooling race at Fairyhouse when we didn’t go for the Betfair and the timing tied in quite well – it came at a good time anyway.”

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Colonel Mustard rethink after Newbury outing scuppered by ground

Lorna Fowler is considering plans for Colonel Mustard after quick ground scuppered his intended run in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury.

The chestnut had been well-fancied for the valuable handicap, a race in which he was due to switch back to smaller obstacles after two credible runs over fences.

But with the ground described as good at Newbury, the decision was taken not to travel from Fowler’s base in County Meath.

“I just can’t run him on the ground as it’s too quick and he has to have a bit of ease in it,” Fowler said.

“It’s very disappointing because we were keen to go there, but we won’t be running and that’s a real shame.

“At Newbury it is quite a unique situation because the ground has been under covers with the cold weather, so it’s quick ground and that’s not suitable for him.”

Colonel Mustard was third in the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival last year, a race won by subsequent four-time Grade winner State Man – last seen beating Honeysuckle to land the Irish Champion Hurdle by four and three-quarter lengths.

Fowler’s gelding will be aimed at the race again come March, though it is likely there will be another outing before Cheltenham looms.

“We’re just taking stock now but I think we will aim to go to the County Hurdle again, that seems like a sensible option, especially given the form is so strong from last year,” Fowler said.

“We might take in something on the way and there are a few options of where we could go, so it’s likely he’ll get a run before the County Hurdle.

“It’s a real shame but sometimes you’ve got to regroup and see where you’re at, he was primed and ready to go this weekend.

“We might take something in along the way, then it’s the County after that and then maybe back to fences after that – that’s the provisional plan.”

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Fowler lining up Betfair Hurdle bid for Colonel Mustard

Lorna Fowler’s Colonel Mustard is in line for a switch back to smaller obstacles as Newbury’s Betfair Hurdle beckons.

The chestnut was a high-quality novice hurdler who was placed in a string of classy contests – including finishing second to Jonbon at Ascot and third to State Man in the County Hurdle in March – before graduating to fences this season.

Fourth on debut and then second behind El Fabiolo at Fairyhouse, the eight-year-old ran two good races in competitive company when taking to the task well.

A return to hurdles awaits, however, with Colonel Mustard now aiming for the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury on February 11, where he will be ridden by conditional jockey Kieren Buckley.

“The plan is to go to the Betfair Hurdle, at the moment everything is going to plan and hopefully he realises it needs to keep going to plan,” said County Meath-based Fowler, whose charge is a general 14-1 chance.

“He’s in great form, we’re going to try to jump him over some of those white hurdles so he sees white paint. We are all guns blazing, along with everybody else!

“I’d like Kieren Buckley to ride him, by chance he ended up doing a lot of the schooling of him over fences and a lot of work with him early doors this season.

“He will claim 3lb in the UK, but the biggest factor really is him knowing the horse. He rode him in his last race because Darragh (O’Keeffe) got injured, that was in his chase at Fairyhouse.

“He’s done most of the working and schooling with him all season and I’m a great one for them knowing the horses.”

Colonel Mustard’s chasing career is not over and future outings over fences are still probable, with Fowler expecting the switch between the two types of obstacles to suit the sharp-minded gelding.

“To me he’s an incredibly bright horse, he’s not the sort of horse that’s going to get confused,” she said.

“He’s very accurate and given he’s a smart, intelligent horse, I don’t think it will be a problem for him. I think he enjoys it, he enjoys the chopping and changing and I think, having brought him back and schooled him over hurdles recently, that he gets a kick out of it.

“Fences are a big option going forward but I think we’ll probably look at having a couple of hurdle runs. He’ll have lots of different options after the Betfair Hurdle, but right now we’ll worry about that race and then see what comes after.”

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