Court set to rule roost
Emma Lavelle will be hoping that Court In Motion can enhance her high opinion of him in a competitive renewal of the Challow Novices' Hurdle at Newbury today.
The Grade One race has proved a fine pointer for chasing stars of the future, with Denman and Diamond Harry among the recent winners, while top prospect Reve de Sivola landed the spoils a year ago.
Connections of the likes of Act Of Kalanisi, Al Ferof, For Non Stop, Backspin and Cavite Beta are entitled to have great hopes for their horses after the promise each has shown, and Court In Motion certainly takes high rank at the Lavelle stable.
Although unable to win in three starts last season, he was saved with 2011 in mind and had no trouble getting off the mark as he cantered all over Oscar Papa at Exeter last month.
Richard Newland's Act Of Kalanisi was a determined winner on his jumping debut over a shorter trip at the Hennessy meeting, while the Paul Nicholls-trained Al Ferof was beaten by only Cue Card in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper, but Court In Motion gets the nod.
Punchestowns makes his eagerly awaited return in the Bathwick Tyres Supports Heros Mandarin Graduation Chase.
He looked a possible top-class runner when winning on his first two outings over hurdles before being put firmly in his place in the RSA Chase.
Punchestowns had his excuses that day, as he finished lame, so taking a drop in class here, Nicky Henderson's charge should make a triumphant return at the expense of Pride Of Dulcote.
The rescheduled Long Walk Hurdle looks a penalty kick for champion stayer Big Buck's.