Dalmatia to run at Cheltenham
Irish handler Eddie Harty is sending over Dalmatia to Cheltenham on Saturday for the £30,000 OLBG Mares' Handicap Hurdle.
Rons Dream (nearest): Heads the weights for mares' handicap hurdle at Cheltenham.
The two-and-a-half-mile contest was run for the first time in 2015 and went the way of the Anthony Honeyball-trained Lily Waugh, who subsequently finished second in the Grade Two OLBG Mares' Hurdle at Doncaster in January.
This is the third of seven races in the OLBG-sponsored series of mares' races that culminates with the Grade One Mares' Hurdle at The Festival in March.
Dalmatia was just touched off by high-class hurdler Rashaan in a 14-furlong Flat race at Gowran Park in August and comes into the weekend on the back of a front-running success in a two-mile handicap hurdle at Punchestown on November 20.
Harty said on Wednesday: "Dalmatia is in good form and the plan is to run on Saturday. It is a nice race and worth a few quid, so we feel it is worth coming over for.
"She is a few pounds higher in England and will be stepping up in distance but if she can reproduce her Punchestown performance, she should be in the mix.
"She wore a tongue strap at Punchestown but I don't think that made too much difference. She can be quite keen in her races and it is important to get her to settle."
The weights for the OLBG Mares' Handicap Hurdle are headed by Rons Dream,who finished second on her return in a Listed mares' hurdle at Kempton Park on November 21.
Champion trainer Paul Nicholls has two entries inLifeboat Mona and Jessber's Dream, who was runner-up in a Grade One mares' contest at Fairyhouse in April when trained by Harry Fry.