Keighley harbours Gold Cup hopes
Martin Keighley believes it is not beyond the realms of possibility Champion Court could develop into a Cheltenham Gold Cup contender one day following his excellent run in defeat at the Festival last week.
The seven-year-old found only Irish raider Sir Des Champs too strong in the two-and-a-half-mile Jewson Novices’ Chase, with some smart rivals well beaten off.
Keighley has yet to decide whether his charge will have another outing before the end of the campaign, but either way, he is excited about next season and beyond, with a step up to three miles being considered.
“He ran a blinder and we were all delighted with him. I thought we had it for a minute but the winner is obviously a very good horse,” said Keighley.
“We’ll see how our horse comes out of it. I wouldn’t be bothered about kicking him out in the field, but if he seems fresh and well, he could have one more run at either Aintree or Punchestown.
“We’re all looking forward to next season. I think he definitely stays three miles and something like the King George at Kempton would be a possible target for him.
“You’d imagine we’ll probably be looking at the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham next year, but he might be a Gold Cup horse one day.
“Riding him aggressively over two and a half miles suits him at the moment, but he could step up in distance I think. It rode a very fast race the Jewson this year, Barry Geraghty was saying it was like riding in the Arkle.”
Written by Mar 21st, 2012.on