Exciting French import Kotkikova will look to build on a solid debut for in-form trainer Nicky Henderson when she returns to action at Ascot on Saturday night.
Live on Sky Racing, the Grade 2 olbg.com Mares' Hurdle provides a serious test for Kotkikova on her British debut following a first run in Ireland for Nicky Henderson. The six-year-old, who was a multiple winner over hurdles and fences in France, had been bought by leading owner J P McManus and was set a stiff test when finishing fifth behind Vroum Vroum Mag in the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown at the end of last year. The six-year-old mare ran well for a long way before tiring between the final two flights and looked as though she would come on considerably for the run.
Considered a serious hope for the Mares' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, Saturday's Grade 2 contest will provide a good standard for Kotikova with the Willie Mullins-trained Whiteout (fourth in the Christmas Hurdle) once again renewing rivalries, while Fergal O'Brien's progressive and unbeaten hurdler Colin's Sister steps out of novice company.
As regularly pointed out over recent weeks Kotkikova's trainer remains in blistering form with Henderson having sent out 10 winners from 26 over the last two weeks with three notable winners on last Friday's Huntingdon card, while Vaniteux was an impressive Listed winner at Kempton's Lanzarote meeting last Saturday.
Catch all the action from an exciting Ascot card live on Sky Racing on Saturday night.
Listed - East Cape Guineas
G3 - Kings Cup
G2 - Resource Recycling Superstars Championship
G3 - Lamb & Hayward 4&5yo Trotting Championship
G2 - Storer Motors Nz Trotting Oaks