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Court Minstrel aiming for Vincent O'Brien County Hurdle at Cheltenham Festival

Jon Wilde in Fri. 17th March 28 Jan 2013
Evan Williams is aiming his smart novice Court Minstrel at the Vincent O'Brien County Handicap Hurdle at the 2013 Cheltenham Festival (credit: Cheltenhampro.com)

Trainer Evan Williams is eyeing the Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle at the 2013 Cheltenham Festival with his smart novice Court Minstrel.

The six-year-old last ran in the Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown in which he finished fourth to Melodic Rendezvous, tiring up the hill in the heavy going after looking set to take a hand in the finish.

Court Minstrel is entered in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury on February 9 but Williams has urged punters to be cautious about backing him because he has an alternative handicap target in mind.

“It may be a year too soon to run him in a handicap at the Festival this year, but if he did go to Cheltenham it could be for something like the County Hurdle rather than a novice,” said the Welshman.

“If he goes to Cheltenham he might not run before then because he's had three runs over hurdles now, although ideally he could do with another run in novice company as he’s still learning to settle.

“He ran with credit at Sandown. He came to win the race but just didn't pick up in the ground. He looked like playing a part at one stage, which is what we needed to see - we didn't want him beaten half a mile out.

“I think he'll be better suited to handicaps, just the way they are run with a fast pace. One day I think he's got a big handicap in him. Make no mistake, he’s a good horse.”


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Court Minstrel aiming for Vincent O'Brien County Hurdle at Cheltenham Festival

Trainer Evan Williams is eyeing the Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle at the 2013 Cheltenham Festival with his smart novice Court Minstrel.

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