Laurina "Unlikely" To Head To Cheltenham For International Hurdle

Willie Mullins superstar mare Laurina was set to make her seasonal reappearance on Saturday at Cheltenham in the Grade 2 International Hurdle but her trainer has expressed it is now "unlikely" to happen due to ground concerns.

Laurina looks set to be veered towards the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival this season but is now being left with not much time to get her crucial runs in to be in her prime for the Grade 1 contest in March.

She is still unbeaten in all of her four starts over hurdles and last year went on to take the Grade 2 Mares Novice hurdle at the festival and backed that up with a Grade 1 victory at Fairyhouse when last seen.

The five year old was set to start her campaign up last month at Ascot in the Grade 2 Coral Hurdle but the ground was to firm and she did not travel.

The same situation seems to be the problem this weekend with the mare needing soft or heavy ground to be in her prime and even with rain forecasted for the Saturday it might come to late for Mullins to risk making the trip over.

There is still a very small chance that she will go to Prestbury Park on Saturday but it is more likely she make her seasonal debut in Ireland around Christmas time at Leopardstown.

(Credit At The Races) Mullins said: “It’s the ground. Because of what the situation is at Cheltenham (good, good to soft in places) and in light of the forecast we’ve had to have a serious think about running.

“It’s looking unlikely she’ll travel.”