Lady Buttons remains on course for Doncaster

Lady Buttons and Adam Nicol clear the last before winning the Mares Hurdle at Wetherby on Charlie Hall Chase day.
Lady Buttons and Adam Nicol clear the last before winning the Mares Hurdle at Wetherby on Charlie Hall Chase day.
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LADY Buttons is on course to bid for back-to-back victories in the Yorkshire Silver Vase Mares’ Chase at Doncaster later this month.

Trainer Phil Kirby reports his stable star to be in good shape following her run in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle.

Lady Buttons on the gallops at Phil Kirby's Catterick stables.

Lady Buttons on the gallops at Phil Kirby's Catterick stables.

She was only fourth of five behind surprise winner Cornerstone Lad and, in hindsight, the North Yorkshire trainer feels he should not have aimed her at the Grade One over the smaller obstacles.

“Buttons is going to Doncaster for the race she won last year,” said Kirby. “She’s come out of it fine. It was probably the wrong race for her, but we tried to give it a go. She’s in good order and will go there in good form, so we’re looking forward to it.”

Owned by Jayne and Keith Sivills, Lady Buttons now has a large following and, just last week, she was named National Hunt mare of the year at the prestigious Racehorse Owners Association awards.

Kirby has the Randox Health Grand National at the back of his mind for his smart staying chaser Top Ville Ben.

The Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase at Wetherby on Boxing Day is the next port of call for the seven-year-old, who suffered an agonising defeat in the Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle on his latest start.