Champion Court set to return to Cheltenham at Open Meeting


Tagged under: 2 The Open Meeting

Champion Court is being lined up for a return to Cheltenham for the Open meeting in November where he’ll look to press his claims to take on the top novice chasers at the 2012 Cheltenham Festival.

The six-year-old finished fourth in the Albert Bartlett Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival last March and looked to have the making of a top class chaser when winning the Matalan Novices Chase over two and a half miles at Aintree at the weekend. Champion Court made amends for unseating his jockey when making his chasing debut at Perth to recover from a couple of errors at the Aintree obstacles and run away from his rivals for a convincing four-and-a-half length win.

His trainer Martin Keighley said afterwards: "His first run over fences was a disaster. He was way too keen. He's been a lot more settled at home and I thought it was a fantastic performance. It was a good little race.

"We'll have a look at the Paddy Power meeting. If we get some soft ground there at Cheltenham it would be ideal. We'll probably step him up to three miles."

The Ultima Front Runner In IT Solutions Novice’s Chase on Paddy Power Gold Cup day looks the likely target as its run over three miles and half a furlong. A repeat of his Aintree run would see Champion Court figure prominently in the RSA Chase betting market for which he is currently best priced at 33/1 with Ladbrokes.

Ante post favourite for the RSA Chase at the 2012 Cheltenham Festival meeting is Grand Crus trained by David Pipe. The smart grey was runner up to Big Bucks in World Hurdle at the 2011 Cheltenham Festival and Pipe is enthusiastic about the six-year-olds prospects when he takes on larger obstacles. Grand Crus will make his chasing debut soon as his trainer said recently: "We are very excited to be planning a novice chase campaign with him for the season. We'll aim to have him out in November."

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