Mona could head straight to Festival

Lifeboat Mona could head straight to the Cheltenham Festival after continuing her winning streak at Sandown.

Lifeboat Mona: Could head straight to Cheltenham

The Paul Nicholls-trained seven-year-old ended last season with victory at Wincanton and picked up where she left off with an impressive display in an Ascot handicap in November.

She returned to Listed class at the Esher venue on Saturday and ran out a comprehensive winner to leave connections considering a potential tilt at the OLBG Mares' Hurdle at Prestbury Park in March.

Dan Downie, racing manager for owners Axom, said: "We were really happy with her. We were a bit worried about the soft ground beforehand and I didn't think she was moving as well as she can when she came by the stands the first time, but she's a tough and classy filly.

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"We ran in a Listed race at Taunton last season and for whatever reason she disappointed that day. The ground was pretty terrible, but I don't think it was just that.

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"It was a relief to get that Listed win yesterday and we'll see where we go now.

"The Cheltenham race is a possibility, but it's not the be all and end all and we'll have a good look through all the options.

"If we did decide to go there, I would imagine she'll go straight there as she does seem to run well fresh.

"That race would obviously be a different kettle of fish altogether, so we'll see."

Lifeboat Mona is a general 16-1 shot for the Mares' Hurdle at Cheltenham, with last year's winner Vroum Vroum Mag disputing favouritism with Apple's Jade and Annie Power.

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