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RACING: Longsdon backs youngsters
CHARLIE Longsdon is putting his faith in a young team of horses as he seeks to rack up the winners over jumps this season.
With last winter’s severe weather, the Chipping Norton trainer didn’t hit the lofty targets he’d set for the campaign.
Even so, he still recorded a highly respectable 54 winners, and prize-money totalling £343,229.
But never one to stand still, he’s had a clear-out at his Hull Farm Stables and brought in a host of horses full of potential.
“There are a lot youngsters,” said Longsdon, who welcomed more than 250 visitors to his annual open morning on Saturday.
“There’s been a big overhaul in terms of horses. We have a lot of bumper horses and novice hurdlers and plenty to look forward to.”
And things are already looking up, with Drop Out Joe’s win at Uttoxeter on Sunday under stable jockey Noel Fehily, taking his tally for this term to 16.
Longsdon’s big hope is Pendra, who showed smart form over hurdles last winter, and will go novice chasing with one of the championship races at the Cheltenham Festival his long-term target.
“We think the world of him and have very high hopes,” said the trainer, who is targetting more than 70 winners and to break through the £500,000 barrier in prize-money.
Up To Something, Ely Brown and Superior Qual-ity are also expected to make their mark as they tackle fences.
Hannibal The Great, rated by Longsdon as the yard’s best bumper horse last term, Wadswick Court and Cadoudoff are exciting hurdling recruits, while Battle Born, Germany Calling, Our Kaempfer and Kilcooley are names worth looking out for.
Of the older brigade, Longsdon says Pete The Feat, last season’s star with a five-timer, will find it tougher, but he hopes the nine-year-old can maintain his progress to line up in April’s Crabbie’s Grand National.
There are also high hopes for Vulcanite, who needs good ground to show his best form, and Grandads Horse, who is set to run in Market Rasen’s big race on Saturday.