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Quevega - Punchestown - 26.04.2012

Quevega: star mare could double up at the Cheltenham Festival

  PICTURE: Patrick McCann (  

Quevega could run twice at Cheltenham Festival

QUEVEGA on Tuesday became clear favourite for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle in the wake of the injury that has ruled out reigning champion Big Buck's for the season, but trainer Willie Mullins suggested the only way she would tackle the stayers' championship was if she were to run twice at the Cheltenham Festival.

& lt;p>The eight-year-old, who was previously not quoted for the World Hurdle, is a general 5-1 shot but remains even-money favourite for the David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle, a race she would be bidding to win for the fifth successive time, which would equal Golden Miller's record of Cheltenham Festival wins set in the Gold Cup.

That record has been Mullins' aim since Quevega's fourth festival success in March and he made it clear that it remains the priority rather than the World Hurdle - Big Buck's or no Big Buck's.

He said: "I think we'll still go for the mares' hurdle. That's the best option, although she doesn't run too often during the year so maybe she could run twice - go for the mares' hurdle on Tuesday and then the World Hurdle on Thursday. We'll see closer to the time."

Stablemate Tarla's long-term aim is the new Grade 1 mares' hurdle at the Punchestown festival, while Thousand Stars, owned by Quevega's connections the Hammer & Trowel Syndicate, finished fourth in the World Hurdle this year and could run in the race again.

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