Coillte Lass aiming to remain unbeaten in Taunton showpiece

Thu 29 Dec 2016

Coillte Lass bids to complete a hat-trick for Paul Nicholls in the totepool Chip & Pin Betting Mares' Novices' Hurdle at Taunton on Friday.

The point-to-point graduate justified odds-on favouritism on her Rules debut at Hereford in October and came home 86 lengths clear of her only rival at Ludlow last month.

Connections admit the five-year-old has more on her plate as she steps up to Listed class in Somerset.

Ian Fogg, racing manager for the owners Ditcheat Thoroughbreds, said: "We're very excited about it.

"It is a step up for her and it will be a different race altogether compared to the ones she's run in so far.

"Let's hope she can step up."

Coillte Lass faces five rivals in the hands of Sam Twiston-Davies.

The Alan King-trained Dusky Legend sets the standard. The six-year-old was runner-up to Limini in the Trull House Stud Mares' Novices' Hurdle at last season's Cheltenham Festival and has won twice since before finding La Bague Au Roi too strong at Newbury last month.

Theatre Territory showed smart form in bumpers last term and looked the part on her hurdling debut at Uttoxeter at the start of the month.

Appy Days, Avithos and Westerbee complete the field.

Willie Mullins struck gold with his first ever runner at Taunton when Myska prevailed 12 months ago, but while Ireland's champion trainer had several entries at the five-day stage, none have been declared.

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