The 2023 JCB Triumph Hurdle heroine Lossiemouth (4-7 Favourite) maintained her 100 per cent record at Cheltenham with a facile success in the Grade Two Unibet International Hurdle (2m 1f) on Festival Trials Day.
Partnered by Paul Townend for Willie Mullins, the five-year-old grey mare took the lead approaching the last and went on to score by a comfortable nine and a half lengths from Love Envoi.
Successful owner Rich Ricci said: “I only watched the last 100 yards as I was walking around doing the usual things. She is a very good filly and we have always thought the world of her.
“We will go for the Mares’ Hurdle I think. I think we learned last year that with these four-year-olds turning into five year olds it is very hard to run in open company.
“She is very good, and she has an entry in the Champion Hurdle, which I think she will probably keep. My guess we would go for the Mares’ Hurdle then the Annie Power at Punchestown and then maybe something in France. Maybe next season she is a Champion Hurdle type. Constitution Hill is a monster, and I’m not running away from him, but she is a great filly, and you just want to mind her to see how she goes.
“I was 100 per cent nervous coming into today. I think we took the decision based on Vauban last season not to enter her until after the new year to give her plenty of time to come back. We weren’t keen on travelling her then we thought we would travel here. She was entered everywhere. She was in here, and at Doncaster and she was in the Dublin Racing Festival, but we decided to come here today, and it has paid dividends. She is a very nice filly to look forward to. She is brilliant.
“They told me she was bombing at home, so I expected her to run really well today so it is happy days.
“I’ve never run away from a fight, and I think we have to do what is in line with her abilities. She is young and coming up.
“Wouldn’t that be nice (if she could be as good as Annie Power). I don’t have a clue if she could be as good. That is a question for Ruby (Walsh) and Willie (Mullins) and those types.
“I’m just delighted with the performance today as she has been great for us.”