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Trainer Willie Mullins insists stable star Relegate will be aimed at mares’ races or novice contests after finally getting off the mark over timber on Tuesday.
The five-year-old ended last year in the Racing Post Champion INH Flat Race For The Conyngham Cup at Punchestown, but could only finish seventh with Tornado Flyer getting the win.
Her first outing back this season was over hurdles at the same track but she could only finish second in November in the Connolly’s Red Mills Irish EBF Auction Maiden Hurdle.
However, the mare finally got back to winning ways when taking the Clinton Higgins Chartered Accountants Mares Maiden Hurdle at Naas.
She overcame 24 other runners despite hitting the final two hurdles but showed plenty of heart to beat Caravation and Barrington Court.
With Cheltenham on the horizon, Mullins admits his charge will now not be rushed, with mares and novice contests on his agenda and Relegate 21.00 to win the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle in March.
“That was good and I thought Ruby was very good on her,” said Mullins. “She didn’t help him much over the last two. She was probably just going a bit too fast and I’d imagine from now on we’ll go way out in trip with her.
“Unless there was something at two and a quarter (miles), but I’d be looking at two and a half. To win a two-mile hurdle was good. I think she’ll jump a lot better when she goes out in trip.
“I’d be looking for mares’ races or novice races, I doubt she’d come back here for the Grade One. I’ll just step her up the ladder quietly.”