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WILLOUGHBY COURT RULES AGAIN

04 December 2017

Winner of the Neptune Investment Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival last season, WILLOUGHBY COURT (IRE) has been a regular in these dispatches for some time. It seems that trend is likely to continue judged on how he won the Grade 2 Ladbrokes Novices’ Chase at Newbury last Friday.          

Now unbeaten in two starts over fences, his latest win was pretty convincing, made all the more so as he took the scalp of Yanworth, also a Grade 1 winner over hurdles. The sky is the limit.  Trainer Ben Pauling was of a similar view. “I always thought he was a chaser and he is proving me right,” he said.    

WILLOUGHBY COURT (IRE) was sold by his breeder J H Kidd at the Tattersalls February NH Sale in 2012 for just €3,800 and later that year, he changed hands again at the same Fairyhouse venue for €6,000. Around 18 months later he furnished into a €48,000 purchase at the Goffs Land Rover NH Sale and on the track he has won seven from 10 starts with over €150,000 banked already. He is by Court Cave (IRE), who stands at Boardsmill Stud in Trim, County Meath, which will be open to visitors during the ITM Irish Stallion Trail in January (read more). 

Around 18 months later he furnished into a €48,000 purchase at the Goffs Land Rover NH Sale and on the track he has won seven from 10 starts with over €150,000 banked already. 

The other Grade 2 event on the programme produced a shock result. All eyes were on the return of Thistlecrack in the Long Distance Hurdle with his chief rival deemed to be Unowhatimeanharry, but champion jockey Richard Johnson didn’t bother with the script and produced a masterful front-running ride to score on the rank outsider BEER GOGGLES (IRE).

The latter sold for €11,000 as a foal at the Tattersalls Ireland November Sale and has been very consistent of late with four wins and tree minor placings in his last seven starts. Connections will decide in the New Year whether he is a Festival horse or more of an Aintree type.   

BEER GOGGLES (IRE) is by retired stallion Oscar (IRE) and he was bred by Cathal Ennis at Quill Farm near Kilbeggan, County Westmeath.  

 

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