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News: 10 January 2012

New Year’s Day Celebrations at Cheltenham for Court Cave

Champion Court became Court Cave’s first graded winner over fences by impressively landing the Grade 2 Dipper Novices Chase over 2m5f at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day.

This was Champ’s 2nd win over fences this season and followed up two recent excellent runs in defeat also at Cheltenham. He made all the running under Alain Cawley and put in an impressive round of jumping from start to finish. He battled on gamely up the hill to hold off the Nicky Henderson trained Solix.

Trained by the excellent Martin Keighley in Condicote, not far from Cheltenham, Champion Court will now have a short break before being prepared for a race at the Cheltenham Festival. This was also Martin’s first Grade 2 winner over fences and also his first winner over fences at his local track. Co-incidentally it was Champ who also provided Martin with his first Grade 2 win over hurdles, also at Cheltenham, last season. Visit www.martinkeighleyracing.com for daily news from his yard.

Two other recent notable performances over fences by 1st crop sons of Court Cave came from Nearest The Pin and Whodoyouthink.

Nearest The Pin ran a fine race in defeat in Leopardstown at Christmas when chasing home Hidden Cyclone in a beginners chase. Trained by Tony Martin for the Jimmy Owens led Sox Syndicate from Navan, Nearest The Pin appreciated the better ground and put in an impressive round of jumping under Paul Carberry. This big horse will appreciate good ground come spring time and hopefully we will see him collecting a big pot at one of the festivals.

Whodoyouthink gained his 2nd Grade 3 placing over fences from just 3 starts to date when chasing home 2nd season chaser Quel Esprit at Thurles in the Phil Sweeney Memorial Chase on January 7th. The winner was rated 14lbs superior to Whodoyouthink, so the runner-up lost nothing in defeat. He put in a good round of jumping under Andrew McNamara and his rider sensibly nursed him home in 2nd place once the Willie Mullins trained winner had the race sewn up. Hopefully Whodoyouthink can put this experience to good use and win a big prize before the end of the season.

Court Cave’s fee for 2012 has been set at €2,500 Oct 1st terms and he has been attracting a lot of interest from breeders over the past few weeks.

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