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Grand National hopeful Magic Of Light set for Mares’ Hurdle at Cheltenham

Magic Of Light finished second to Tiger Roll in the 2019 renewal of the Randox Health Grand National and she will likely be aimed at the Mares’ Hurdle at Cheltenham ahead of her return to the famous steeplechase on 4th April.

The Jessica Harrington mare took Tiger Roll all the way at Aintree last year but found the two-time Grand National winner too strong, however she has continued her excellent form into this season. Indeed having triumphed in a Listed mare’s chase at Newbury and a successful defence of her crown in a Mares’ Hurdle in Berkshire, Harrington will be hopeful of good times ahead.

The Moone-based trainer said: “I was delighted with her. It sounds a funny thing to say because she’s nine now, but she does seem to be improving and Robert (Power) keeps saying she feels stronger than she was last year,” said the Moone-based trainer.

“She did it very well. We were worried about the heavy ground, as last year her improvement seemed to come when we got her on a bit better ground. Now she’s a bit stronger, she’s obviously coping with testing conditions much better.”

Following her victory at Ascot last year, Magic Of Light was beaten by the narrowest of margins in the Lady Protectress Mares’ Chase at Huntingdon just a few days before unseating her rider in a chase at Fairyhouse.

Harrington is considering a different route to the Grand National this time round.

She continued: “She arrived back home at 7.15am and seems absolutely fine. She won’t be going to Huntingdon next weekend and we’ll try to find a race for her somewhere in February.

“We’ll have a look and see what there is. I believe there’s a mares’ chase at Exeter, so that could be an option and there’s also the Bobbyjo at Fairyhouse, but I’d probably rather run over fences in England – I just think the fences there are a bit more forgiving.

“We’ll run her somewhere in February, all being well, and then we’ll have a go at the Mares’ Hurdle in Cheltenham. I don’t know if she’s good enough to win that, but you’d have to say she’s up there with the better mares after her performance yesterday.

“After Cheltenham, roll on the Grand National again.”

Magic Of Light is a 25/1 shot for the Mares’ Hurdle at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival while she is 20/1 for the 2020 Randox Health Grand National.