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RACING: Longsdon salutes Fehily 'authority'
Chipping Norton trainer Charlie Longsdon praised jockey Noel Fehily after quirky character Loose Chips won at Kempton’s big Boxing Day meeting for the second successive year.
The seven-year-old, who won the handicap hurdle on the corresponding card 12 months ago, was far from convincing in the early stages of the novices’ limited handicap chase this time around.
But the 8-1 shot warmed to his task at the head of affairs in the extended two-and-a-half-mile contest, before holding off Ohio Gold by a short head under Fehily, who went on to land the feature William Hill King George VI Chase on Silviniaco Conti.
Longsdon said: “Noel gave him the most fantastic ride.
“After the first two fences, I thought too big a fence for too small a horse, that will be his race.
“But Noel managed to get him going, and he just got into a great rhythm and actually needed company at the end.”
It was Loose Chips’ third win at the Sunbury venue.
And Longsdon added: “He has been a star around here. He has won consecutive Boxing Day meets, but he is a character all right.
“He lives in a big barn with another horse called Han-nibal The Great, who is equally as mad, and they are as quiet as a lamb together.
“But he comes here and he has probably done about 16 miles round his stable, walking round in circles.”
Fehily added: “I would have been gutted if he had got beat because he made life very difficult for me.
“When a horse comes, he just keeps finding a little bit, so I hoped the other horse didn’t come past me too quickly, so I would have a chance.”
Within minutes, Longsdon completed an across-the-card double after Spanish Arch scored at Market Rasen.
Three of the six-year-old’s rivals departed at the third fence in a novices’ limited handicap chase over an extended two miles and six furlongs.
That left Spanish Arch to battle home by a length and a quarter from Shockingtimes under Kielan Woods.
Longsdon and Fehily were back in the winner’s enclosure at Leicester the following day when Ely Brown got off the mark over fences.
The eight-year-old stayed on well in a novices’ chase over an extended two miles and seven furlongs to slam Beeves by 16 lengths.
Longsdon said: “The betting beforehand showed that it could have been a very tight little race, but he won with plenty of authority and we can now make some decent plans for the future.”