Quevega is ready to bid for her hat-trick of wins in the OLBG Mares Hurdle (for the David Nicholson Trophy) at Cheltenham next month.
The eight-year-old mare has been restricted to just two runs per season for the last two years and it is a tactic that brings out the best in her as she has won at both the David Nicholson Mares Hurdle and the World Series Hurdle in successive campaigns.
The March 13 feature will mark her first run since May and, while she is currently in good form, trainer Willie Mullins admits that she gave him a scare a short time ago.
"She's in great form. She was in terrific form, ready to run, about three weeks ago then just went out of sorts a little bit so I gave her ten days easy. Now she's back good and strong again," Mullins told At The Races.
"I wasn't going to run her - I had her ready so I had nothing to do coming up to Cheltenham other than keep her ticking over. I like to get them ready then if something happens you can give them a bit of a break before building then up totally for the Festival."
Despite not having the advantage of having a prep run before Cheltenham, Quevega has looked sharp in the last two runnings of the David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle - beating Sparky May by ten lengths last year and running out a four and a half length winner in 2010 - and Mullins believes she will be just as strong when she returns to Prestbury Park next month.
"I remember two years ago I ran her in a schooling hurdle and she came back lame on the same leg that had her out the previous year and I got her such a fright I said I'd never run her again before the Festival and it seems to work. She takes her training well that way and I'm very pleased with her," he went on.
"The breeder told me years ago the family keep improving with age and I can't disagree with him. She's certainly as good as she was anyhow."