County Meath handler Gavin Cromwell is confident of a bold showing from 10/1 shot Jer’s Girl in the Grade One OLBG Mares’ Hurdle over two-miles and four furlongs at Cheltenham on Tuesday.
A dual Grade One winner last year in Ireland, the daughter of Jeremy slammed two decent fields in those races at Fairyhouse and Puncehstown by 13 and 10 lengths respectively and looked a horse to follow.
However, the five-year-old mare, despite finishing second to Nichols Canyon on her seasonal reappearance in the Stanjames.com Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown, where she was beaten by 12 lengths, was very disappointing when a well-beaten last of five behind Petit Mouchoir in the Ryanair Hurdle in December.
Given plenty of time off since that run, Cromwell who will be saddling his first two runners at the Festival, due to Prospectus also running in the Fred Winter is confident that the Irish bred-gelding can leave that form behind in the Grade One event on Tuesday, Champion Day, at the Cheltenham Festival.
Cromwell, speaking at the racecourse to me today said:
I’m very happy with her and she has been going well at home. She is fit and, if you take her last run out, you have to put her in the frame. I think she’ll definitely be there with Limini and Vroum Vroum Mag anyway. The ground will be fine for her – it will pose no problem.
Cromwell also saddles four-year-old gelding Prospectus, successful in two of his three starts over hurdles. He was a length and a quarter winner last time out at Fairyhouse on January 25.
Commenting on his charge, the trainer said:
I would rather that the ground was a bit softer for him but I think he has an each-way chance.
Asked about the thrill of training your first Cheltenham Festival runners, Cromwell replied:
I’ve really enjoyed the preparation coming into The Festival, it’s been great. Getting them here in one piece has been the big job so we’re now ready and we will see how it goes.