Pauling excited about Court appearance
Ben Pauling is eagerly awaiting the reappearance of his exciting young chaser Willoughby Court in the weeks ahead, while Barters Hill is also on the comeback trail.
Willoughby Court landed the Neptune over hurdles at the 2017 Cheltenham Festival and won his first two starts as a novice chaser last season.
He then finished third in the Dipper Novices' Chase at Cheltenham on New Year's Day, before a minor injury cut his season short.
The seven-year-old has put his problems behind him and is gearing up for his seasonal return before a potential tilt at the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury in November.
"He's come back in looking brilliant. We've given him a little wind op, we just maybe heard a little bit of a whistle that day at Cheltenham when he was beaten and it was well-documented that he missed the Festival after suffering a foot abscess," said Pauling.
"That is now well behind us, it's great to have him back and we plan on going up for the intermediate chase at Carlisle - the Colin Parker Chase - on 4th November and if that goes well then he'll probably have an entry at Newbury."
Meanwhile, Barters Hill has also been given a positive update by his trainer. A Grade One-winning novice hurdler, the eight-year-old has raced only once since incurring an injury on his chase debut at Cheltenham in November 2016.
He was well beaten over hurdles at Newbury in February past, but his trainer feels he now looks fitter and healthier than he has done for some time.
"I've not been this happy with him to be honest through the whole of last year," the trainer added.
"He's moving better, he's a much happier horse and he's got his old way of going back.
"He's going to go back novice chasing this year and could be worth following again. It'd be mad to think he can get back to right where he was as a novice but it'd be great if he can win a few races over fences this season."
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