Craig Kieswetter is excited for one last crack at the Cheltenham Festival with Echoes In Rain, who will head to Prestbury Park for her racecourse swansong next month bidding to bring the curtain down on her career with a fairytale success.

Former England cricket star Kieswetter is a key figure in his family’s Barnane Stud alongside brother Ross and stud manager Patrick Wynn-Jones, with Echoes In Rain proving to be the star performer of their jumps string over the years.

Trained by Willie Mullins, she has won nine of her 30 career starts across both codes, with her finest hours coming at the Punchestown Festival where she won Grade Ones both as a novice in 2021 and then two years later against her fellow mares.

However, she has found success at the Cheltenham Festival harder to come by and will be given one final chance to conquer the Cotswolds before moving on to be a part of Barnane’s broodmare band.

“She’s going to head to Cheltenham and it will probably be her final hurrah before we take her back to Barnane Stud to start her career as a broodmare,” said Kieswetter.

“She’s a real fighter and every time we ask a question of her, she goes for it. For a mare who tries her hardest every single time, she’s had to come up against the likes of Honeysuckle and State Man all the way through her career.

“We’ve had some fantastic fun with her. I was there when she got pipped on the line in the Irish Cesarewitch, Rachael (Blackmore) jumped off and was devastated, but she has given us some fantastic times.

“We are looking forward to one final outing with her and then she can start her new career.”

Last year Echoes In Rain had to settle for a minor role as regular adversary Honeysuckle bowed out in style in the Mares’ Hurdle and Kieswetter feels that race is the most likely for Echoes In Rain’s final appearance, rather than stepping up to face the might of Constitution Hill in the Champion Hurdle.

He continued: “We’ll have a discussion with Willie and his team and see which direction they want to go. I’m suspecting it will probably be the Mares’ Hurdle, but you never know.

“Willie won all the Grade Ones at Leopardstown and is operating at a ridiculous strike-rate and is the best, we are more than happy to just follow the advice of where he wants to go.”

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