Middleham Park Racing’s pair of top-class hurdlers Marie’s Rock and Red Risk may clash in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury.
Marie's Rock has been an excellent servant for the syndicate, winning the Grade 1 Mares' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 2022, whilst the Paul Nicholls-trained Red Rock will be undertaking a Graded campaign following a good second in the Grade 2 Bet365 Hurdle at Wetherby.
"I think they're going to do battle, they'll be taking each other on at Newbury in the three-mile Grade Two there," said Middleham Park's Tom Palin.
"That's been Marie's Rock's target for a while, that was the logical starting point for her.
"Red Risk ran a cracker at Wetherby, I thought we were going to go past the other horse but he really toughed it out as well. We were delighted with the run.
"He does go very well fresh, we'll run at Newbury but the one question we have is whether it's a bit too soon after Wetherby.
"Then we'd just look at giving him a bit of a freshen up going into something ahead of the spring, maybe a Cleeve Hurdle or something akin to that.
"They'll probably end up taking each other on at Newbury in that Grade Two and it will be fascinating to see who comes out on top.
"We've just got Red Risk figured out and Marie's Rock is in great form. Her campaign kind of plans itself; Newbury, Ascot, Cheltenham for the Cleeve, Cheltenham for the Stayers' and Aintree again."