Robert Walford considering his options for exciting mare Smaoineamh Alainn

Fri 2 Mar 2018

The prospect of testing ground at Sandown next weekend could mean Smaoineamh Alainn sidesteps the Matchbook Imperial Cup and instead heads for the Cheltenham Festival.

Robert Walford's improving mare has won both her starts this season, most recently beating subsequent winner Remiluc at Cheltenham in December.

As she also holds an entry in the County Hurdle, if the ground is deemed too soft at Sandown next Saturday Walford is quite prepared to wait a week.

"We haven't made our mind up yet, it just depends what happens after all this weather," said Walford.

"If the ground got very testing at Sandown, which it can do there, it wouldn't be in her favour.

"She's in the County Hurdle as well and wouldn't run in both. I think she'll get in (at Cheltenham) so we'll probably make a decision on Monday when we have to confirm for the Imperial Cup.

"Her form looks good and she's improving at a rate of knots."

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