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WITNESS PROTECTION | Foxtrot Racing’s exciting novice makes his chase debut at Southwell

Martin Keighley’s eight-year-old makes the transition to fences at Southwell on Wednesday evening

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Witness Protection and James Best winning at Chepstow Racecourse
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Witness Protection will tackles fences for the first time at Southwell on Wednesday evening, after a promising novice hurdle campaign last season.

Martin Keighley’s talent burst onto the scene at Stratford back in November, winning the Dodwell Novices’ Hurdle comfortably by 10 lengths.

WATCH: WITNESS PROTECTION WINS AT STRATFORD IN NOVEMBER [CREDIT: RACING TV]

The gelding couldn’t justify favouritism at Wetherby a month later, as he was beaten by a head when stepped up to 2m5½f.

But he bounced back with victory at Chepstow in January, travelling strongly to claim a novices’ hurdle at the minimum distance on the Welsh Grand National card. 

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Witness Protection made his Cheltenham Festival bow in the Coral Cup but ran too keenly, weakening before the last fence.

Keighley’s runner returned to Prestbury Park for the April meeting for his final start over the smaller obstacles, finishing a creditable second behind Favoir in a 2m4½f novice hurdle.

Owned by the Foxtrot Racing Syndicate, the eight-year-old has given his owners plenty to be excited about as he makes the transition to the larger obstacles this season.

Foxtrot Racing owner Dan Abraham stated his hopes for Witness Protection in a pre-Grand National interview back in April.

Hogan's Height ridden by Tom Cannon on their way to victory in the Virgin Bet Grand Sefton Handicap Chase during Becher Chase Raceday at Aintree Racecourse, Merseyside.
Foxtrot Racing have experienced many highs this season, including their first runner in the Grand National in Hogan’s Height

“He’ll make a lovely chaser next year. We bought him as a chasing type so anything he does over hurdles is a bonus. 

“He’s a big baby and there is plenty more to come.”

The gelding features in a six-runner field in a Class 3 Handicap Chase at Southwell, holding a current price tag of 7/2.

He faces tough competition in Donald McCain’s Onthefrontfoot and Peter Bowen’s Statuario, but the eight-year-old is respected over the two-mile trip.

Witness Protection has a tough task on his hands as top-weight, but he could a threatening presence in this company at Southwell if he can carry his hurdle form over to fences.

Reece Charlton is a Content Writer at Low6 that specializes in horse racing. He is an avid hunter of value in the racing world, picking out longshots six days a week across the National Hunt and Flat cards on offer across the UK and Ireland. He keeps punters and race fans in the know with his racing expertise with previews and value picks for all the big cards and meetings.

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