RACING: Longsdon's looking for personal best

Witney Gazette: Theatrelands ridden by Noel Fehily wins the The Yuletide Beginners Steeple Chase, at Leicester Theatrelands ridden by Noel Fehily wins the The Yuletide Beginners Steeple Chase, at Leicester

Chipping Norton trainer Charlie Longsdon continued his winning spree by beating last season’s tally – and has now set his sights on a personal best.

Wadswick Court made a successful debut over hurdles at Huntingdon on Thursday to take the Hull Farm Stables handler’s total to 55 for the season, one more than he registered in the 2012-13 campaign.

And after welcoming his charge back into the winner’s enclosure, Longsdon said: “Our best is 69 two years ago, so 70 is the target.”

Despite taking a keen hold early on, Wadswick Court stuck on well to land the novices’ hurdle over an extended two miles by half a length from Simply A Legend under Noel Fehily.

Longsdon added: “He needs to learn how to settle. I think he will learn the more he runs.”

Wadswick Court’s triumph came after Longsdon’s winning machine had reeled off doubles in successive days.

The Chipping Norton handler’s shrewd placing of his runners was demonstrated on Wednesday with Theatrelands and Little Chips scoring under Fehily at Leicester.

Theatrelands made a winning debut over fences in a three-runner beginners’ chase, coming home by an eased-down seven lengths from Minkie Moon.

Little Chips’ three-lengths victory over Tony Dinozzo in the handicap chase over an extended two miles and seven furlongs equalled Longsdon’s tally for last season.

Longsdon added: “I never thought we would have that many winners so far this season from just the 70 horses in the yard.”

A day earlier, My Miss Lucy and Pete The Feat gave Longsdon and Fehily a double at Fontwell.

Pete The Feat, last season’s stable star after reeling off a five-timer, had failed to complete in his two starts so far this campaign.

But a drop in class saw him bounce back to winning ways in a handicap chase over an extended three miles and two furlongs.

The nine-year-old put in a fine round of jumping under top weight, before gamely staying on to beat Firm Order by a length and three-quarters.

Longsdon said: “It was great to be back in the winning groove with Pete the Feat. Life has been a bit tough for him this season in the big staying handicaps and dropping down the grade just helped him.”

My Miss Lucy opened her account over timber with a length verdict from Bull And Bush in the mares’ novices hurdle over two and a half miles.

“She jumped brilliantly for her win,” said Longsdon.

“She had all of last season off with a pelvis injury, so it is great to see her back in the winner’s enclosure.”

This Saturday, Pendra could step up in class for a handicap chase over two miles and a furlong at Ascot.

The five-year-old has impressed in winning his two starts over fences in novice company this term.

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