Maria's Benefit delights Stuart Edmunds as Cheltenham Festival looms large

Sun 4 Mar 2018

Stuart Edmunds reports Maria's Benefit firmly on course for the Trull House Stud Mares' Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

The six-year-old is unbeaten in five starts and most recently knuckled down well to see off Irish Roe in a Grade Two at Doncaster.

Maria's Benefit was since found to have had heat in a knee, but Edmunds is confident that issue is behind her as she prepares to take on the Willie Mullins-trained hot favourite Laurina on Thursday week.

"She just had some heat in her knee after hitting a hurdle very hard at Doncaster," the Newport Pagnell handler told Racing UK's Luck On Sunday programme.

"I just wanted to make sure everything was 100 per cent, so she had an MRI scan and everything was 100 per cent.

"She's not missed any work and was always going to have an easy time after Doncaster. We're very happy with her.

"I think the ground was probably a bit soft for her at Doncaster. There wasn't much grass on it and it was fairly horrible.

"She's a speedy filly and I would hope for better ground, but with all the snow around we might be struggling."

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