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Mahler Mission wins the Albert Bartlett River Don Novices' Hurdle

Mahler Mission was yet another Irish-trained winner of a big race in Britain when staying on dourly to claim the Albert Bartlett River Don Novices’ Hurdle at Doncaster.

Just 24 hours on from the feature race having gone across the Irish Sea from Town Moor on Friday, and on the same day as Gordon Elliott’s Pied Piper dazzled at Cheltenham, British-based trainers look set to face yet another stiff task come the festivals in the spring.

Mahler Mission (11-2) had actually already won in the UK, at Sedgefield last time out, and trainer John McConnell is no stranger to raids from his County Meath base.

It was a good battle up the straight with Ann Duffield’s The Real Whacker, but experience told close home and Mahler Mission won by two lengths.

“He just gallops and gallops and is improving all the time,” said McConnell.

“He’s not even six until June so he’s still a baby. I bought him because I thought he was eyecatching in a point-to-point and I’ve been proven right.

“He goes on all ground. He looks slow, but I don’t think he’s as slow as people think!

“I put him in the Albert Bartlett this week so I thought I’d better run him to see where he was. He might not be good enough to win it, but he deserves to run in it.”

Paddy Power cut the winner to 33-1 from 66s for the Cheltenham race.

Imperial Cup runner-up Miss Heritage returned to her best form to run out an impressive winner of the Sky Bet Yorkshire Rose Mares’ Hurdle.

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