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Champion Court primed for big run as Paddy Power Gold Cup field takes shape

Updated: Monday, 11 Nov 2013 16:05 | Comments

Champion Court can be backed at 10-1 for Saturday's big handicap
Champion Court can be backed at 10-1 for Saturday's big handicap

Trainer Martin Keighley is in confident mood as he prepares Champion Court for Saturday's Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham.

Fourth in the King George last season, the eight-year-old fared even better when winning over the same course and distance of this weekend's highlight in April.

"I've been really pleased with his preparation," the Gloucestershire handler told At The Races.

"He had a nice racecourse gallop around Wincanton and I couldn't be happier with him.

"This race has always been the plan, it looks ideal. From the end of last season we put him away for this as he runs well fresh.

"He's got everything in his favour and looking at the forecast it will be lovely, good ground."

Champion Court is one of 28 remaining possible in the first feature handicap of the season.

Nicky Henderson has slimmed his team down to three, with top weight Finian's Rainbow, Rajdhani Express and Nadiya De La Vega still in the mix.

Dynaste remains a possible for David Pipe, as are stablemates Salut Flo and Ballynagour.

Jonjo O'Neill's Johns Spirit has been well backed since winning at Cheltenham's first meeting of the season, while Katenko may attempt to make up for lost time for the in-form Venetia Williams having had his last season cut short by injury.

Old Roan Chase winner Conquisto may run for Steve Gollings, with Tap Night, Walkon, Battle Group and Vino Griego other notable possibles.

The Irish raiding party has diminished, with only Hidden Cyclone, Texas Jack, Gift Of Dgab and Sean Airgead all that remain as Willie Mullins has taken out Marito and his other entries.

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