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Stable Talk with Martin Keighley

By GlosRacing  |  Posted: November 02, 2012

Martin Keighley and Any Currency

Martin Keighley and Any Currency

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We were all so delighted to see Any Currency get back to winning ways at Wincanton in the Desert Orchid Silver Cup.

He's not the easiest to train and sustained a tendon injury after he was second at Cheltenham at the 2010 Open meeting and had to have a year off.

He's therefore even more fragile than he was before then and is a stressy sort too which doesn't help!

However, Alain Cawley gave him a great ride.

I told him to never give up on him as all he does is gallop and, although he was the first one to need pushing along, he kept going, hit the front at the second-last and drew clear up the run-in to win by nine lengths.

His enthusiastic owners Cash Is King, headed by our yard sponsor Mark Boothright, have had to be so patient with him so it was great for him to repay them with such a good win.

He'll now either go for the London National at Sandown, a course that really suits him, or possibly have a tilt at the Becher Chase over the Grand National fences.

We made a long trip to Fakenham with Tower and Benbane Head.

It is nearly four hours in the lorry and not the easiest place to get to, but we were rewarded by Tower winning a conditional jockeys' selling hurdle.

It was his first win over hurdles and he didn't really want to win but was given a strong ride by my conditional Danny Hiskett, who made his mind up for him and forced him into the lead in the final strides to win by a neck.

Tower was busy as he was back in action at Wincanton where he ran well to finish third.

His next outing might be on the Flat at Kempton next week and, if he goes there it will be our first runner on the Flat.

Danny's riding has gone from strength to strength and he will get plenty of opportunities from me in the coming months, which he deserves as he works hard, is polite and is keen to improve all the time.

With so much competition for rides it is so important to never stop learning and he is lucky that under the new BHA jockey coaching scheme he is under the wing of my old stable jockey Warren Marston and you'd not find a better mentor than him.

Champion Court has suffered a minor setback in his seasonal preparation and therefore misses Kempton on Monday which was his original planned debut.

Along with Havingotascoobydo, he has an entry in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham on November 17.

He will either start there or for the Amlin 1965 Chase at Ascot on November 24.

I won't run Champ and Scooby against each other and I would be against running Scooby in the Paddy Power Gold Cup if he was out of the weights, which he may be.

I can't pretend there isn't added pressure where Champion Court is concerned as he has a bit of a following and, if he was to progress into a top-class horse, it would certainly help put our small yard on the map.

However, I can only do my best and I am fortunate that his owner Mark Boothright is a sportsman and a realist and knows they are animals and not machines, which makes life much easier.

We have a quiet weekend with possibly no runners so I'm taking the family down to visit Ian Popham, who is convalescing at his parents' home near Taunton.

He was allowed home last weekend without having an operation on his broken pelvis, so we are hopeful he won't be out of action for as long as he was last time.

Following the announcement that Kauto Star has been retired, what an amazing achievement by trainer Paul Nicholls and Kauto himself to compete at the top level season after season.

It was definitely the right decision to retire Kauto Star as he had nothing left to prove.

It's the end of a very special era as he follows stablemates Denman and Master Minded into retirement and I wish him well.

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