Trainer Phil Kirby hopes to have his productive mare Lady Buttons back in action next season.

Now aged 10-years-old, Lady Buttons goes for her summer break after another fine and consistent season.

Five runs yielded three wins, with her defeats coming in Grade 1 company via Newcastle’s Fighting Fifth Hurdle and the recent Mares’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

In the Cotswolds, Lady Buttons proved no match for star duo Honeysuckle (7/2 to win 2021 Mares’ Hurdle) and Benie Des Dieux, finishing a slightly underwhelming seventh.

She had earlier defended her crown in the Listed mares’ hurdle at Wetherby in early November and also defended her title in the Listed Yorkshire Silver Vases Mares’ Chase at her beloved Doncaster in December.

A second successive win in the Grade 2 Yorkshire Rose Mares’ Hurdle followed on Town Moor in January before Cheltenham.

Kirby will look to have Lady Buttons back for more come the winter.

“We haven’t really spoken about it properly (with the owners), but I haven’t been told she’s going to be put in foal any time soon, so I’d imagine we’ll have another season with her and see how we go,” said the trainer.

“I suppose I was a bit disappointed by how she ran at Cheltenham – I thought she might finish a bit closer than she did. Whether she doesn’t like the track or she just struggled in that bit higher grade, I’m not sure.

“I’m not going to make any excuses for her because she went there in very good form and it just didn’t happen for her on the day, but she’s been fine since and is now on holiday.

“We’ll probably start off down a similar route next season and go Wetherby, Doncaster, Doncaster.”

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