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Carole's Spirit out to go one better than sister at Cheltenham

Robert Walford is confident that Carole's Spirit will uphold family honour with a big run in the OLBG Mares' Hurdle at next month's Cheltenham Festival.

The lightly-raced six-year-old is a half-sister to Carole's Legacy, who chased home the mighty Quevega in the same race back in 2010, as well as finishing second in the following year's Stewart Family Spinal Research Handicap Chase.

Walford accepts it will be a tough task to go one better than her sibling, who was trained by Nicky Henderson, but does believe his charge will head to Prestbury Park in great shape.

The Dorset handler told the race sponsors: "I'm delighted with her current well-being and it is my intention to run her in the OLBG Mares' race at the Festival. She won't run again beforehand and I really believe the trip of 2m 4f at the Festival will be absolutely ideal for her.

"I'm not too concerned about the going, she ran well on good ground at Aintree and I think she could make it into the first four, but obviously if Quevega is on top form she should win."

Carole's Spirit is also a half-sister to Mad Max, who finished fourth behind Sizing Europe in the 2010 Arkle before going on to claim a Grade 2 novice chase success at Aintree.

Walford's mare was placed in four of her five bumpers, winning at Warwick, and has made steady progress since put over timber in November, when winning her first two novice hurdle events at Plumpton and Newbury.

Another triumph came at Haydock the following month when she stayed on strongly after the final flight to readily beat As I Am and Carole's Spirit was runner-up in her most recent race behind Highland Retreat in a Grade 2 OLBG Mares' Hurdle trial at Ascot.


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Carole's Spirit out to go one better than sister at Cheltenham

Robert Walford is confident that Carole's Spirit will uphold family honour with a big run in the OLBG Mares' Hurdle at next month's Cheltenham Festival.

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