Luccia cemented her place because the red-hot favorite for the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle on the Cheltenham Competition with victory within the Listed 2m½f novice hurdle, however her emphatic success left impressed coach Nicky Henderson not ruling out a tilt on the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.
A straightforward winner of an identical contest at Newbury on her hurdles debut in late November, the five-year-old missed an supposed engagement within the Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle final month however was despatched off the 8-13 favorite to keep up her unbeaten document.
Luccia cruised into competition within the dwelling straight and, regardless of an error on the final, powered to an 11-length win beneath Nico de Boinville. She was typically trimmed to 7-4 (from 5-2) for the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle.
Henderson mentioned: “You needed to be impressed together with her. She’s had a number of hiccups since she gained at Newbury, however that was precisely what we wished earlier than Cheltenham. She was a bit untidy on the final, however other than that her leaping was nice.
“She had a horrible incident final 12 months the place we very almost misplaced her. It’s incredible for Paul [Sandy, owner]. She’s a homebred and it’s thrilling. She’s a bit particular.”
Such was the style of Luccia’s success, De Boinville hinted to Henderson that the Supreme may very well be for her. She is a best-priced 12-1 for a race the coach and jockey gained final 12 months with famous person Structure Hill.
“I might favour the mares’ race because it seems as if she’d have an impressive likelihood in that,” mentioned Henderson. “I believe she would have an opportunity within the Supreme and Nico mentioned to run her there, so he will need to have been impressed.
“She wouldn’t be misplaced in that, however we’ll see. There are a number of weeks till then. I’d favour the mares’ race.”
Luccia headlined a treble for Henderson, who additionally landed the Pertemps Hurdle qualifier with Strolling On Air, whereas The Carpenter defied a 701-day absence to make a successful begin for the coach within the 2m2½f novice hurdle.
Strolling On Air was launched at 10-1 for the Pertemps Closing. Henderson mentioned: “We’ve now acquired a robust staff for the Pertemps, with the King’s Steal A March, Captain Morgs and some extra which may go. Strolling On Air will certainly go. That was a lot better from him and he’ll be a nice, correct three-mile chaser subsequent season.”