sport

High hopes for Sparrow

John Quinn is confident Cockney Sparrow is capable of running "a mighty race" in the OLBG Mares' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

The five-year-old made an impressive return to the jumping scene in a Listed event at Wetherby in November before filling the runner-up spot behind My Tent Or Yours in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle.

She faced Willie Mullins' formidable mare Annie Power at Doncaster late last month and appeared beaten when falling two flights from the finish.

Quinn will now prepare his mare to take on the Mullins-trained Quevega, winner of the OLBG Mares' Hurdle for the last five years.

"She's fine and her next run will be the mares' race in Cheltenham," said the trainer.

"It's hard to know what would have happened at Doncaster. She's a mare who finds plenty. I'm not saying she'd have won or anything, but she does keep going.

"The winner is obviously very good and I'd say our mare prefers drier ground as well. If she stays, I think she'll run a mighty race (at Cheltenham)."