Quevega builds towards Cheltenham

Willie Mullins declared himself “very happy” with Quevega after the history-seeking mare made a gentle appear ance after racing at Leopardstown.

The nine-year-old is attempting to become the first horse since Golden Miller in the 1930s to win the same event at the Cheltenham Festival five times when she lines up for the David Nicholson OLBG Mares’ Hurdle.

Quevega galloped with another long-term absentee, Fiveforthree, and two other stablemates.

“We just brought them for a day out really,” said Mullins.

“The intention was to just canter round for one circuit as they worked yesterday and will work again during the week.

“They’ve been off the course for a long time so we just did it to knock the fizz out of them really, Fiveforthree certainly was fresh.

“I was very happy with them but there was nothing informative, all it told us was that they are alive and kicking.

“Katie Walsh rode Quevega because she rides her at home and Davy Condon rode Fiveforthree.

“I had been looking at the World Hurdle for him again but I’m considering the Coral Cup also.”

Dessie Hughes also took a few to the gallop, although there were far less in action than in previous years.

However, Hughes’ big Triumph Hurdle hope Our Conor had a spin, along with Posiden Sea (Bumper) and Minsk.

“I was very pleased with all three of them,” said Hughes.

“Posiden Sea won a bumper at Clonmel well and was then second to a nice horse here in December.

“Minsk seemed to really love the better ground and Our Conor was great, I couldn’t be more pleased with him.

“He looked very strong and came up between horses and seems in good nick.

“Most of the work has now been done with them, it’s just a case of freshening them up now.”

Tony Martin also had some of his Cheltenham team in action with his new recruit Golantilla and Blackmail preparing for the Bumper along Benefficient, who has options in the novice chases.

“I was happy with all three and we’ll see how they are all in the morning,” he said.

“Golantilla went well, I’m very happy with the stage he is at. Everyone has been happy with him since he came.

“Blackmail has been around a bit, he won a point-to-point and is streetwise. He’ll know his job a lot more than some of the others.

“Benefficient cleared his lungs and went a good clip. He’s fresh and well and I’m very pleased with him, also.”

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