Horses To Follow » Champion Court

Champion Court

Champion Court put up a nice performance to win the Grade 2 two-mile-five-furlong novices’ hurdle at Cheltenham on Sunday. Held up out the back in the early stages by Warren Marston, the Martin Keighley-trained gelding made mistakes at the third last and the second last just as the pace was picking up and he was trying to improve, which wasn’t ideal, but he picked up well on the run to the last to take it up, and he stayed on well all the way to the line. Winner of a Kilbeggan bumper in May for William McMahon, the son of Court Cave was bought by current connections for £130,000 thereafter. He was green on his first run in the UK in a Uttoxeter bumper, when he only went down by a head to a useful Nicky Henderson sort, and he was green again here, but he galloped on really strongly up the hill. This race has been a really good pointer to the future in recent years, with the last five renewals going to Black Jack Ketchum, Massini’s Maguire, Razor Royale, Diamond Harry and Tell Massini. Champion Court should progress significantly for this experience, he could be very good indeed, he should improve again as he steps up in distance, and the Albert Bartlett looks like the race for him back at the Festival in March.

14th November 2010

© The Irish Field, 20th November 2010