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MRS MILNER: Pertemps winner will be a “different mare” at 2022 Cheltenham Festival

Former Festival winner Mrs Milner steps up to Grade 1 company next week

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2F3YEF2 Horse Racing - Cheltenham Festival - Cheltenham Racecourse, Cheltenham, Britain - March 18, 2021 Bryan Cooper riding Mrs Milner wins the 1.55 Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle Pool via REUTERS/Alan Crowhurst

Last year’s Prestbury Park heroine Mrs Milner will bid to “rectify” her Newbury disappointment in the Mares’ Hurdle next week as she bids to land Grade 1 honours for the first time for trainer Paul Nolan.

The Flemensfirth mare was an easy winner of the Pertemps Network Final twelve months ago under Bryan Cooper before winning her seasonal debut at Limerick.

But she subsequently disappointed in the Long Distance in Berkshire when last seen in November, but her absence is not something to be too concerned about, her handler believes.

Honeysuckle ridden by Rachael Blackmore following victory in the Close Brothers Mares' Hurdle on day one of the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse, Cheltenham.
The Grade 1 Mares’ Hurdle takes place on the opening day, previously won by the likes of Benie Des Dieux and Honeysuckle (pictured)

“She’s run twice at Cheltenham and she was second and then won, we’ve freshened her up since Newbury and we’re hoping we’ll see a different mare in Cheltenham,” Nolan told At The Races.

WATCH: MRS MILNER HAS TASTED CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL SUCCESS BEFORE [CREDIT: RACING TV]

“At Newbury I don’t think at any stage of the whole race Bryan was really happy with her, normally she’d run to the line and that day she didn’t.

“A lot of the horses didn’t, it was a funny sort of race as they went quite quick.

Bryan Cooper (nearside) will partner Mrs Milner next Tuesday

“It was just one of those things, I think she was a bit flat.

“Bryan wasn’t happy with her at any point and that’s what we’re putting it down to, hopefully she can rectify that.

“She improved with the step up in trip for the Pertemps last year, now we’re going back in trip and the ground is going to probably be a bit softer unless the forecast changes.

“It’s going to be a good race, but hopefully she’ll run respectably and go well.”

Dominic Chapman is senior content writer at Low6 with a passion for horse racing. He provides a NAP and NB every day throughout the week on selected National Hunt and Flat cards in both Britain and Ireland. Additionally, he hosts the Paddock Picks Podcast with former Welsh Grand National-winning pilot, Charlie Poste - the pair interviewing and discussing current racing topics with a special guest every week.