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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Motion scratched from four-milerHeadlines
Court In Motion

Court In Motion, who was a general 16-1 chance for the John Oaksey National Hunt Chase, will bypass the Cheltenham Festival after suffering a minor setback.

Emma Lavelle's charge chased home leading RSA Chase candidate Dynaste at Newbury on his second start over fences last November before winning a Grade Two event at Lingfield the following month. The eight-year-old is also quoted by some bookmakers for the RSA, but Lavelle admits he will not be ready in time.

She said: "He's just given himself a little bit of a knock, it's something minor, but it's just come at the wrong time of year. If he had done it in November or even early December, it wouldn't have been a worry and we could have had him ready in time for Cheltenham."

The handler continued: "We don't want to rush him, though, and then find we miss the rest of the season so we will wait for Aintree and Punchestown with him. Realistically, he won't be ready for Cheltenham.

"We'll have a look at Aintree. Around a sharper track like that, I think we will be looking at three miles, so he could go for a novice or we might have a look at a handicap."

Houblon Des Obeaux was second to Court In Motion at Lingfield and he is among the 85 possibles for the four-mile Festival heat on March 13. Lavelle has substitute contenders in Court By Surprise and Highland Lodge, but the Paul Nicholls-trained Rocky Creek currently heads the ante-post list, along with Willie Mullins' Vesper Bell.

Nicholls and Mullins have four and six entries respectively, but David Pipe tops the list with seven - including No Secrets and Poole Master.

Other leading contenders among the entries include Mullins' Back In Focus, Nicholls' Keppols Hill and the Dessie Hughes-trained Raz De Maree, although that horse is reportedly being aimed at the Irish Grand National.

Pauline Robson could aim for a memorable success for Rival D'Estruval, who was a winner at Kelso last month.

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