Graham to hold court again

By Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk 

Six years on, and Graham Court has confirmed he’s about to take over the top job at Harcourt Lodge, again.

“I had no intention of not taking over. What else could I do? I’m not that old yet …”

Now 70, Graham Court will become the stable’s official trainer when 40-year-old son Paul and his young family relocate to Canada next month.

In 2016 Paul Court took over from his father, after the pair had trained nearly 100 winners together (2009-2015). That included three consecutive New Zealand Cups with Terror to Love, the horse they’ll forever be associated with.

This season Paul has trained 27 winners, the latest being Stick Man at Addington on July 5.

Paul : “It’s not been an easy decision. But we’re ready for something new… it’s time to put the family first and go from there.”

Court married Canadian-born Chantelle Swanson sight unseen in a “Three Strangers and a Wedding” radio promotion in 2007. Now they and their two children are heading back to her home country. It’s not the first time Paul Court has spent extended time there – though this time it seems it’s for keeps.

On his own account Graham has trained 204 winners, his career starting in the late 1970s.

“A lot of owners I’ve had for over 40 years and I’ve got some new ones with Paul and I’m not prepared to throw it all away. I’m just the boss again.”

Court senior has always been hands- on.

‘We are doing about 30 with about 15-20 yearlings to come back into work so there are plenty of numbers.”

He’s also heavily involved with their stud operation at Pinelea Farm where his stallions include Terror to Love and Stunin Cullen.

Court says “I’m around here 24/7 anyway so not much changes”, though from August he won’t have the other half of the Court double act that equalled history with three consecutive New Zealand Cups.

Paul has no plans to be involved in racing in Canada even though he’ll be based not far from Ontario’s Woodbine Mohawk Park. As for his new sporting allegiances?

“The Maple Leafs (ice hockey team) haven’t been going that great – so it will have to be the Toronto Raptors (2019 NBA champions).”

 

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