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Lorna Fowler set to throw Colonel Mustard into Champion Hurdle mix

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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