Irish trainer Colm Murphy has issued an upbeat bulletin regarding the wellbeing of his smart mare Voler La Vedette, third to Quevega in last year's David Nicholson Mares Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and likely to have another crack at her old adversary in the 2011 renewal later on this term, writes Elliot Slater.
The seven-year-old daughter of King's Theatre has already had three runs this term, winning on her seasonal return at Punchestown in October, and then putting up an even better performance to give Solwhit a good race when finishing second to Charles Byrnes' smart performer in the Grade 1 Dobbins & Madigans at Punchestown Hurdle in November. Another rock solid effort when finishing third to current Champion Hurdle co-favourite Hurricane Fly at Fairyhouse in the Grade 1 Bar One Racing Hatton's Grace Hurdle in mid-December, confirmed that Voler La Vedette continues to hold her form really well. Anyone looking to bet on Cheltenham 2011 action would have been impressed by her form.
Murphy intends to run his mare next in the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown in late-January, after which a decision will be made on which race at the Cheltenham Festival will best suit the eight-time winner. Most observers believe that the David Nicholson is the most likely option, even though Voler La Vedette (5/1) would have to face the formidable Willie Mullins-trained Quevega (5/4f), the mare who will be going for a historic hat-trick of wins in the race. It will be worth keeping an eye on the Cheltenham racing betting in the coming weeks to see which event the horse is entered into.
Even though she ran well at Christmas behind Hurricane Fly over two-and-a-half miles in heavy ground, Murphy believes that that particular race came a little too soon after her run against Solwhit at Punchestown and expects his mare to put up a better display at Leopardstown later this month. Murphy suggests that Voler La Vedette is improving all the time and is one to keep very much on the right side.