Feltham hero Annacotty returns to Kempton

Martin Keighley is happy to take Feltham Chase hero Annacotty back to Kempton for his seasonal debut today.

The Condicote trainer feels the six-year-old to be ready to make his reappearance in what is an intriguing five-runner contest for the Weatherbys Private Banking Graduation Chase.

“It’s a good place to go first time out. Obviously he loves the track. He’s run there twice (over fences) and won both times,” said Keighley.

“He’s fresh and well. I know he wants three miles, but two-mile-four should be ideal for his first run.

“He’s in great form and it’s a good little race.”

The last two champion trainers, Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson, are represented by Caid Du Berlais and Bear’s Affair respectively while Emma Lavelle’s Fox Appeal and Theatre Guide from Colin Tizzard’s stable complete a strong line-up.

Keighley is also excited at the prospect of Coyaba, who runs in the same ownership as Annacotty, making his debut over obstacles in the £25 Free Bet At titanbet.com ’National Hunt’ Novices’ Hurdle against five opponents.

“I think a lot of him. He’s a lovely horse. He won his two bumpers and he needed a good summer out as he’s only four. He could be quite nice,” he said.

“He came back strong and well. He’s schooled really nicely at home and I’m really looking forward to running him. He’s up against a nice horse of (Philip) Hobbs’ (Brother Tedd).

“He’s got the same owner as Annacotty so it’s good both are running on the same card.”

* Le Bec’s racing career is in the balance after he damaged a tendon during the United House Gold Cup Handicap Chase at Ascot on Saturday.

The six-year-old is definitely out for the season after he struck into himself during the valuable three-mile contest but trainer Emma Lavelle has not yet ruled out the talented chaser running again in the future.

“He has struck into himself and we will just monitor how we go. Obviously that will certainly be it racing for this season and we will just see what happens after that,” said the Andover handler.

“He’s cut into his tendon. As to actually when he did it it is always hard to say. I haven’t watched the race again to analyse where it was. It was at some stage in the race anyway.

“He’s back here and the vets have been to see him. They were actually very happy with him this morning, so it’s fingers crossed.”

* Mick Channon wants to give Sgt Reckless more experience over fences before stepping him up in class.

The seven-year-old, who was placed in novice hurdles at the Cheltenham, Aintree and Punchestown Festivals, made a pleasing debut over bigger obstacles when defeating Gentleman Jon by three and a half lengths over two miles at Uttoxeter on Friday.

“He’s done it very nicely and Brian (Hughes) coaxed him through the race without any fuss and he’s done the job with real authority,” the West Ilsley trainer told www.mickchannon.tv.

“I don’t think it’s any secret how highly we rate him. He’s a ridiculously talented horse on the gallops at home and can go with anything we’ve got here from six furlongs to two miles.

“We’ve just got to make sure we make the right moves with him and do our best to maximise his potential. The ground for instance is a concern – he’s all speed and flat bred – so we wouldn’t want to encounter that surface too often.

“It was a drying, glue-pot surface, and he’s had to drag himself through it. You could see that in his action, it wasn’t the flowing stride we so often see but his class has got the job done. He jumped superbly.

“Brian was of the opinion that another ’little’ race might be for the best just to polish up his act and we’ll do that if we can find such an opportunity.”


'When a role became available in The River Lee following the refurbishment, I jumped at the chance!'You've Been Served: Sinead McDonald of The River Lee on life as a Brand Manager

It’s the personal stories from Bruce Springsteen that turn his new ‘Western Stars’ documentary into something special, the director tells Esther McCarthy.Bruce Springsteen's Western Stars documentary more than just a music film

Apart from the several variations in its spelling in Irish and English, Inishtubbrid, Co Clare is also recognised by three other names: Wall’s Island; O’Grady’s Island and Inishtubber which surely puts it up there as the island with most names — not counting say Inisvickillane, Co Kerry which has about 33 variations to that spelling.The Islands of Ireland: In search of tranquility

More and more communities and volunteers are taking on environmental tasks around the country. In Clonmel, Co Tipperary, for example, people have united to get rid of Himalayan balsam, an invasive plant, from the banks of the River Suir.‘Bashing’ invasive plants

More From The Irish Examiner