The Lucy Wadham-trained United is set to make a complete return to fitness in time for the Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
The five-year-old mare put in her first serious piece of work yesterday after a muscle injury ruled her out of the totesport Trophy in February.
United had been mooted as a serious Champion Hurdle contender having claimed three consecutive victories over timer since joining Wadham’s yard from Germany.
And while a lack of race fitness means such lofty aspirations must be shelved this year, the Newmarket-based handler is confident her stable star will be ready to make a comeback in the County Hurdle, for which she is a 12-1 chance with Paddy Power.
“She’s in good order and did her first bit of real work yesterday,” said Wadham.
“We had to take her out of the Champion Hurdle because I just couldn’t run her as she’d have had to improve a lot from how she was.
“She’s going to run when she is ready but the way things are going, I can see her being OK for the County Hurdle.”