IT’S great to be heading to Cheltenham on Thursday with THE PLAYER QUEEN (4.50) and competing at the top level. She’s going to be up against it pitched in against those great mares from Ireland and across Britain in the Grade 2 Dawn Run Mares' Novices' Hurdle.
On ratings she has plenty to find but she’s pretty unexposed and we believe she’s got a bit of class about her, so hopefully she can handle the step up.
We bought her after she impressively won a bumper around the track last year and we’ve already seen how tough she is. Her attitude is first-class and if she can stay with them coming down the hill she’ll be fine going up it! Having that course experience should help her and while she’s likely to be a big price, we wouldn’t rule out nicking a place if she runs out of her skin.
Craig Nichol rides and the ground conditions look to be right up her street.
Long-term she’s a chaser, that’s what we really bought her for and this season the main aim was to go for the EBF Mares’ Final at Newbury, which she’s qualified for. She ran a blinder at Musselburgh, so we thought why not just have a go at both races. Like most of Yeats’ mares the toughness is there and she’s come out of her last win really well.
The video above is her going through her final preparations with Debbie, while the one below shows Player's win at Musselburgh and also what we've been doing with her at home to get her ready for the Festival.
We are really happy with the way the horses are running at the moment. They’re back in form again. Slanelough was great at Newcastle the other day toughing it out to get the job done, while Monfass is back to his old self again.
Dylan Johnston gave him a really good ride and it’s only a matter of time before he rides his first winner. He really deserves one!
After Cheltenham we will have a busy weekend with Newcastle on this Saturday.