Williams points Queen at Mares’

Noel Williams will campaign Briery Queen sparingly ahead of a possible tilt at the OLBG David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Noel Williams: Trains Briery Queen

The Blewbury handler has earmarked a potential outing in a Listed contest at Warwick on February 11 for the seven-year-old before potentially taking aim at the Grade One prize.

After signing off last season with victory in a Listed race at Newbury, the daughter of King's Theatre picked up where she left off when making a victorious seasonal reappearance at Cheltenham earlier this month.

Williams said: "Briery Queen will not run on the bad ground we will probably get between now and February. The only race that jumps out is a Listed race at Warwick on February 11.

"I would probably pencil that in for her. If she showed up well there, we would probably have a look at the David Nicholson for her. She will not go to Cheltenham if she is going to be a complete backmarker. She will only go if she has a competitive chance.

"Hopefully she will step up, but if she doesn't, we will look at a different route. She will jump a fence next season and the only reason we hung back this year is that the owners have Briery Belle and it was not ideal these two mares clashing in every race.

"She is going to have to step up on what she did at Cheltenham and there is no reason why she won't.

"It was her first run for a long time on ground that probably didn't suit her. Although she went through it, she is better on better ground.

"I thought she would run well at Cheltenham into a place. What was really taking was the way she did it. She cruised up to the last and was the only one on the bridle, and after the last she quickened up well. She did it very stylishly."

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