RACING: Keighley wins Kempton feature with Annacotty

CONDICOTE trainer Martin Keighley enjoyed his first Grade One success at Kempton Park on Boxing Day with Annacotty in the Kauto Star Novices' Chase and is hoping the stable's good form can continue at Cheltenham on New Year's Day.

Stable star Champion Court was an early casualty in the featured William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton when he was hampered and unseated jockey Ian Popham at the fifth fence.

He could bid for compensation in the richest race at Cheltenham on New Year's Day, the £50,000 Fairlawne Handicap Chase.

Keighley said: "We will see how Champion Court comes out of the King George, but if all is well with him, he could run at Cheltenham on New Year's Day."

But Keighley will definitely run Coyaba at Cheltenham next Wednesday in the concluding £20,000 High Sheriff Of Gloucestershire NH Flat race.

Keighley said: "Coyaba is a real nice horse and has done everything right in his two runs so far.

"He worked well this morning and the plan is now to go to Cheltenham on New Year's Day with him.

"If all goes well then, we would probably give him a break with a view to bringing him back to Cheltenham for the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at the Festival."

Meanwhile, Annacotty responded positively to the application of first-time blinkers to land the famous Christmas race formerly known as the Feltham Chase.

Keighley said: "We just felt he was saving a bit, we wanted him to focus on the job and he schooled well in them (blinkers) at home."

There was further Cotswold success on the big Kempton card when Loose Chips won a race for the Charlie Longsdon team from Chipping Norton.

Nigel Twiston-Davies' Champion Hurdle candidate, The New One, remains firmly on course for the Festival despite being narrowly beaten by My Tent Or Yours in the Christmas Hurdle.

Twiston-Davies said: "He was only beaten half a length and if he hadn't missed the last he might have got it.

"He probably won't run again before the Champion Hurdle."


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