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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Keighley courting Kempton honoursHeadlines
Champion Court

Trainer Martin Keighley believes Friday's kempton.co.uk Graduation Chase is the perfect opportunity for stable star Champion Court to secure a confidence-boosting victory ahead of next month's Cheltenham Festival.

Second to Sir Des Champs in the Jewson Novices' Chase last March, the eight-year-old has run two excellent races this term, not least when fourth in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.

He comes back to an extended two and a half miles for his latest appearance and, with just two rivals in opposition, Keighley hopes the race should set him up perfectly for the Ryanair Chase.

"He's been in good form and hopefully this is a great opportunity for him to get his head in front again," said the Gloucestershire handler.

"Hopefully he can get a win on the board and then, if everything goes well, we can go to the Ryanair full of confidence.

"We know he likes the track after his good run in the King George and the ground has dried out as well, so everything looks good."

Champion Court is taken on by the Paul Nicholls-trained Domtaline, as well as Paul Webber's talented mare Alasi.

Webber could not be happier with his charge, who returns to fences for the first time this season having filled the runner-up spot in Listed hurdle races on his last two starts.

"We had the chance of a Grade Two hurdle at Warwick on Saturday, but she is already a Grade Two winner," said the Banbury trainer.

"We've always wanted to run her again over fences in the right conditions, which is right-handed on reasonable ground - that's why we thought we'd have a go. She's never been in better form in her life."

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