Conditions key to Marie’s Rock Haydock involvement

Marie’s Rock could miss the Sky Bet Supreme Trial Rossington Main Novices’ Hurdle at Haydock if the ground is heavy.

The unbeaten mare is among the entries for the race at Haydock on Saturday but could miss out if the ground doesn’t suit.

The Nicky Henderson-trained five-year-old may next be seen at the Cheltenham Festival, with the mares’ novices’ hurdle the likely target.

“She’s won on soft twice, once over course and distance, but her options are limited now,” said Tom Palin of owners Middleham Park.

“Myself and Mr Henderson have looked through the book, and there isn’t really a perfect race – a two-mile, Grade Two or Three mares’ only novices’ hurdle – between now and the Festival.

“We’ve always been quite flexible. We’ve been to Ffos Las, Haydock and Taunton – the syndicate have been brilliant, allowing us to get on with it, and I don’t think this will be any different.

“It’s heavy ground already, there’s a lot of rain forecast, and she’s got speed – it’s probably her most potent asset.

“She’s been on soft twice and handled it, but ‘Haydock heavy’ is a different kettle of fish.”

He added: added: “She’s the highest-rated novice mare in the country, and it’s whether we should be going again on heavy ground?

“I’d say she’s less than likely to take her chance, but we can see what it looks like later in the week.

“Mr Henderson said we don’t necessarily need to see her again before Cheltenham.”

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