Exciting Champion Hurdle Prospect Laurina Returns to Action on Saturday
We have been waiting a while to see Laurina on a racetrack this season, but that wait looks to be over as she has been declared to run on Saturday at Sandown. Willie Mullins has decided to send his star mare across the water to make her debut as there are no suitable races for her in Ireland. She faces just three rivals in what looks like being an uncompetitive affair, she looks to be head and shoulders above the opposition and should win the race comfortably.
When speaking about the mare, Willie Mullins has said that the Champion Hurdle will be her main target this season, swerving a run in the mares race at the Cheltenham Festival and a likely meeting with another superstar female of the game, Apple’s Jade.
Where ever she goes, all eyes will be on her, she comes into this season on the back of winning all four starts last season when she moved to the Mullins yard. She won her three starts by double figure lengths, and rounded off her season with a Grade One victory at Fairyhouse by eight and a half lenghts. She stormed up the Cheltenham hill to land the mares novice hurdle at the festival, putting the race to bed and demolishing the field by 18 lengths. She deserves the step up in class, and with Buveur D’Air being beaten over Christmas, the Champion Hurdle could provide her with an opportuntiy to pick up another Grade One success.
Ahead of that though, she has to prove her well-being and win the race at Sandown on Saturday. On official ratings she is 17 pounds better than her nearest rival in the race, and there is every chance that Laurina is better than her current rating of 152. She will need to be a little better than that to win a Champion Hurdle, although she will receive the mares allowance in that race which will work in her favour.
Stable jockey Ruby Walsh comes over to ride Laurina and that is his only ride on the card, so he is clearly interested in getting a feel for how she runs, and what to do in the future. With no other horses coming to the fore and showing they are capable of challenging Buveur D’Air, a comfortable success and an impressive round from Laurina could see her move into clear second favourite for the big one in March.