Tag Archive for: Ben Case

Spring festival on Cobblers Dream agenda before fences switch

Ben Case is looking to run his Cheltenham Festival runner-up Cobblers Dream once more this spring before going novice chasing with him next season.

The lightly-raced six-year-old will go to either Aintree or Punchestown next month. Both festival meetings have a handicap hurdle over two and a half miles, while Case will also make an entry in the Grade One Betway Mersey Novices’ Hurdle at the Liverpool venue.

Cobblers Dream went close to giving Case a second Cheltenham Festival success, after Croco Bay in the 2019 Grand Annual, when finishing second to Banbridge in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle on what was only his sixth start over the smaller obstacles.

“He ran another good race. He’s really had a good season,” said the Edgcote handler.

Banbridge (left) edged out Cobblers Dream
Banbridge (left) edged out Cobblers Dream (Mike Egerton/PA)

“He’s travelling through his races well, so he’s not giving himself a hard time. He’ll probably have one more run and that will be it for the season.

“His options are to either go to Aintree or Punchestown, so it will be one or the other. We haven’t made a decision on that yet.

“I may even stick an entry in the novice at Aintree. He’s more likely to run in one of the handicaps, I would think, but sometimes those novices cut up at this time of year. It might not happen, but it will be worth having a look at. It’s a good position to be in.”

Case is already excited about pitching Cobblers Dream over the bigger obstacles next term.

“I’ve already schooled him over fences and he’s been very good, so I don’t see any reason not to and if it doesn’t work out, we can come back over hurdles,” he added.

Ben Case sweats on Coral Cup cut for Cobblers Dream

Lanzarote Hurdle winner Cobblers Dream is likely to head for either the Coral Cup or the Martin Pipe at the Cheltenham Festival.

The Ben Case-trained gelding was an eye-catching victor of the Listed contest in January, prevailing by five and half lengths in a competitive field of 19.

Prior to the Kempton triumph he was a three-length winner at Doncaster, a success that was the six-year-old’s third over hurdles in five runs. His maiden win over obstacles came at Warwick in September, when he was an impressive six-and-a-half-length scorer.

Cobblers Dream holds entries for a trio of Cheltenham Festival contests, but he is not expected to run in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle and is more likely to contest either the Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle or the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle.

Which of the latter two races he lines up for remains to be seen as the final fields are yet to take shape, but a Cheltenham appearance is not obligatory for Case and connections, with Kempton and Punchestown options to be considered.

“I don’t think he’ll run in the Ballymore, for sure. I’ll be surprised if he gets into the Coral at the moment,” the trainer said.

“He’ll probably end up running in the boys (conditionals) race but again, that’s if he gets in.

“It’s not the end of the world if he doesn’t go to Cheltenham, he can go to Kempton on the Saturday and then to Punchestown after that.

“The main plan would be to run him in the Coral if he were to get in, but if he doesn’t make the cut then I’ll run him in the Martin Pipe.”

Case charting direct route to Cheltenham for Cobblers Dream

Lanzarote Hurdle winner Cobblers Dream will head straight to the Cheltenham Festival without another run, with trainer Ben Case set to target the Coral Cup.

The Lady Jane Grosvenor-owned six-year-old earned a third victory in five starts over hurdles at Kempton, beating 18 rivals by five and a half lengths over two miles and five furlongs.

The owner and trainer are no strangers to Festival success, combining to win the Grand Annual with Croco Bay in 2019.

And Case, who trains in the village of Edgcote, near Banbury, confirmed that Cobblers Dream will bid to give the partnership further success at Cheltenham on March 16.

“The plan is to go to the Coral, I think,” said Case. “I have entered him in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle as well. The plan is to really go to the Coral, but it was really just in case he would not get in the race and would be on the cusp of getting in.

“Obviously the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle will be an option as well. He will have entries in all three, but Plan A is go to the Coral and then possibly go to Punchestown if he comes out of it all right. Let’s worry about getting to Cheltenham in one piece.

“He will go straight there and he is fine, absolutely full of himself.”

Cobblers Dream is a best-priced 25-1 with the sponsors for the Coral Cup.

Cobblers Dream is Lanzarote hero for Case and Quinlan

Cobblers Dream won an eventful race for the Coral Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle at Kempton.

Jack Quinlan’s mount was at the head of affairs from flag fall and, after a false start, it proved the best place to be as there was drama at the second flight.

Ch’tibello fell, bringing down the favourite Green Book and badly hampering another fancied runner, Marie’s Rock.

Unaware at what had happened to the two market leaders, up front it was the Ben Case-trained Cobblers Dream and Highway One O Two who led the way.

Very few got into the race and there was no change at the second-last flight where Quinta Do Mar came down when fading out of contention.

Cobblers Dream (third left) was always handy
Cobblers Dream (third left) was always handy (Steven Paston/PA)

Cobblers Dream (10-1) kept up the gallop to land the valuable prize from Highway One O Two (25-1), with Call Me Lord (33-1) third and Gelino Bello (6-1) fourth.

Case said: “He has just improved all along. To be fair, the horse has always been straightforward since we have had him. The step up in trip has sort of helped him and he just seems to be getting better all the time, which is great.

“We thought we’d get in off a nice weight today after his last run and when they announced the prize-money was going up, I thought this was the right place to come.

“I was a bit concerned on the ground. It is not too bad today. They went quite quick early and then slowed it down and I think the first two were the first two all the way round, so they probably didn’t go much of a gallop and they have quickened away from the second-last. But he is a nice horse.

“I think there is a bit more to come from him, hopefully.”

Betfair gave the winner a 25-1 quote for the Coral Cup, and Case added: “He looks to be a proper horse and where we go from here, I’m not sure. We will see what the handicapper does. We might creep into something at Cheltenham, I don’t know.

“Whatever way you look at it, he has had a good season and I think he will jump fences quite happily, so he will do that next year.”

“It was a hard decision for Jack (Andrews) to go to Wetherby. He had a full book of rides up there and he is going to regret it, but Jack Quinlan has ridden him as well and knew the horse. So it was tough for Jack.

“It is nice to have a big Saturday winner and Lady Jane Grosvenor has been a big supporter of ours and had some really nice horses, and this looks another one, too.”