Sparrow sights set on Quevega

Cockney Sparrow is being prepared to take on five-times Mares' Hurdle winner Quevega at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

Connections of Cockney Sparrow are keen to challenge the Willie Mullins-trained 10-year-old in the OLBG Mares' Hurdle after she showed she could mix it with the best when runner-up to My Tent Or Yours in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle.

The John Quinn-trained five-year-old will warm up for a crack at Quevega by running in an OLBG-sponsored mares' event over an extended two miles at Doncaster on January 25.

"She ran an absolute belter in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle. She's just turned five now and at the time was only four, so for her to run such a race in a Grade One behind such a good horse and having several good horses behind her, we were absolutely thrilled," Quinn's son and assistant, Sean, told At The Races.

"On the day she was a deserved second. She showed what a good and progressive filly she is.

"The route plans itself. We'll keep her to two miles for the moment and there's a Grade Two on the 25th at Doncaster where she's won at in the past, a fillies' and mares' only race.

"You'd imagine she'd go there and all being well if she was to come through that test the ultimate aim is to get her to Cheltenham in one piece and step up to two and a half miles and have a crack at Quevega.

"We feel she is a nice filly. Quevega is obviously a Cheltenham legend, having won five times there now and going for a record sixth win.

"I don't think she will have come up against a mare quite as good as our filly. I'd be hopeful if our filly was to stay she'd test her."