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Ms Parfois to have a big-race prep before 2019 Grand National

The daughter of Mahler has been aimed at the Grand National all season after she came close to clinching the top-class Terrefort at the venue last year, however she hasn’t been seen since the Ladbrokes Trophy early in December. Nevertheless the Anthony Honeyball-trained eight-year-old will look to become the first ever mare to win the race in almost seven decades.

Honeyball is currently deciding to run the horse at either Naas or Uttoxeter in the coming weeks, a scheduled appearance at Exeter a few days ago not coming to fruition due to the meeting being abandoned.

The handler said: “I have had a good look at the weights and Ms Parfois is on 146, which is her actual rating. If she got in the National, the top-weight ran and the ground was suitable, you would have to think she would run well.

“She ran very well at Aintree last year when second in the Grade One novices’ chase. We have just had a bit of a topsy-turvy season really and the horses were not right earlier on.

“It is hard to know where we are at the moment, although some of them have come out and won recently.

“If we can get Ms Parfois running like she was last season, there has to be a big race in her if the ground is soft to heavy, or soft, good to soft would be fine with some rain about.

“At the moment we are looking at taking her to the Leinster National in early March and we are also looking at the Midlands National, Aintree and the Irish National for her.

“It has been very difficult as we wanted to run Ms Parfois in a mares’ race at Exeter the other day and that was abandoned. We also looked at Wincanton over the weekend but the ground was not suitable.

“Either of those races would have been a good baby step for her, but now she will have to go straight into the deep end in one of the big handicaps.

“The only race she would be entered in at the Cheltenham Festival is the Ultima Handicap Chase, but unfortunately that race takes place on about the only day that her owner won’t be able to go racing.

“Because of the season we have had, he doesn’t want to miss her when she runs.

“Ms Parfois wasn’t right when she ran in the Ladbrokes Trophy, which was a shame because that looked a golden opportunity for her. We are ready to have another go with her now and see where we are.”

Most bookmakers have Ms Parfois priced-up at 33/1 to win the 2019 Grand National.