Ben Pauling has revealed that he is “very excited” ahead of Willoughby Court’s return to action at the Newbury Ladbrokes Winter Carnival, according to a report on Gloucestershire Live.

Willoughby Court was Pauling’s first ever Cheltenham Festival winner and he is gearing up for his seasonal appearance at the Winter Carnival.

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The trainer opted not to have the horse run in Saturday’s main race and believes he has a good chance of winning the shorter race on Friday.

He said:

Willoughby Court has recovered really well from his cut which meant he missed his intended target at Carlisle and a possible tilt at the Ladbroke Trophy this weekend.

He however still will be at Newbury this weekend, taking up his entry in the two-and-a-half-mile handicap chase on Friday.

We have schooled him twice this week and he has come through both with flying colours. I’m very excited to get him back on the track. Nico will take the ride.

Nico de Boinville rode Willoughby Court at last year’s Ladbrokes Novices’ Steeple Chase at Newbury racecourse and won and he will be hoping for a similar outcome this Friday.

Do you think Willoughby Court will win on Friday?