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RACING: Patient Longsdon ponders Pendra move
Charlie Longsdon will weigh up all the options before deciding where to run Pendra next after his big hope for the season made a winning debut over fences at Carlisle.
The five-year-old provided the second leg of Tony McCoy’s 123-1 five-timer at the Cumbrian course last Thursday when he came home a facile three-and-a-quarter lengths winner from Eduard in the two-mile beginners’ chase.
However, that doesn’t tell the full story as Nicky Richards’s charge was upsides Pendra when sprawling badly on landing at the second-last fence, leaving the 4-5 favourite to saunter home.
Longsdon, who has the Jewson Nov-ices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival as a long-term target for the gelding, could now give him experience of Prestbury Park in a race at the Open meeting from November 15-17.
He said: “I would be very happy him going there, but he is only a five-year-old and we will have to weigh up all the pros and cons before making a decision.
“There are plenty of other options if he does not go there.”
Pendra’s win helped continue Longsdon’s terrific run of form, which saw him post another five winners last week to take his tally for the season to 41.
He saddled Magnifique Etoile to make an impressive comeback at Stratford after 20 months on the sidelines with a leg injury.
The six-year-old, who was last seen in the 2012 County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, made light work of having top weight in a handicap hurdle over two miles and three furlongs by spreadeagling his rivals, crossing the line 12 lengths clear of Dolatulo under Noel Fehily.
Longsdon, who may aim the gelding at a race at Newbury’s Hennessy Gold Cup meeting at the end of next month, said: “To give the handicapper his due, he had given the horse a chance by dropping him a few lbs, but I never thought he would be as impressive as he was.”
The master of Hull Farm Stables’s bandwagon rolled on when Ely Brown and Theatrelands provided him with an across-the-card double at Aintree and Wincanton respecitvely on Sunday.
Ely Brown repeated his win of last year in the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle when making all the running under Charlie Deutsch to beat Gauvain by eight lengths in the extended three-mile contest, which saw the three hurdles in the straight dolled off due to the low sun.
The eight-year-old is now set for a novice chasing campaign.
Aidan Coleman was seen to good effect as Theatrelands followed up his recent Towcester win by battling home to beat Maxi Chop by a head in a two-mile handicap hurdle at the Somerset venue.
Coleman was also in the saddle as Shantou Magic made a sparkling debut over hurdles for Longsdon at Fontwell earlier in the week.
The six-year-old brushed aside his rivals in a novices’ hurdle over an extended two miles and two furlongs to score by nine lengths from Simply A Legend.