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RACING: Longsdon's delight as Ely sparkles
5:28pm Wednesday 16th January 2013 in Sport
Chipping Norton trainer Char-lie Longsdon believes Ely Brown deserves to take his chance at the Cheltenham Festival after posting a determined victory at Warwick on Saturday.
The eight-year-old held off Holywell by a length and a quarter under Noel Fehily to go one better than last year in the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle, and is now on course for the final of the series at Prestbury Park in March.
Longsdon said of the 12-1 chance: “He had to win today to get in at Cheltenham, and if he goes up 5lb now that will be his ticket booked. He has won two qualifiers now and certainly deserves his chance.
“He was second in this race last year and I thought he would do well to repeat that because it was a stronger race, and he has run an absolute cracker.”
Ely Brown had finished third on his previous start at Haydock after landing a Pertemps qualifier on his seasonal debut at Aintree.
And Longsdon added: “We probably left him a bit short I think at Haydock before Christmas. He came back from that bouncing as if he improved for the run.
“He is as genuine as they come and loves it. He is not quick, but this is the sort of race he likes.”
Cheltenham could also be on the agenda for Pete The Feat, whose bid for a six-timer ended with a gallant third behind Rigadin De Beauchene in the feature Betfred Classic Chase.
The nine-year-old was beaten four lengths after racing keenly for the first half of the race.
Longsdon said: “He really did try and he put up a great performance in defeat.
“He jumped superbly, but travelled too well for the first two miles and he just paid the price up the home straight.”