BATTLE Born’s impressive success at Bangor-on-Dee saw Chipping Norton trainer Charlie Longsdon equal his previous best tally of 69 winners for a National Hunt season.
The five-year-old romped home 31 lengths clear of Fearless Tunes in a National Hunt Flat Race over two miles and a furlong under Charlie Deutsch.
And the manner of the 4-5 favourite’s victory surprised even Longsdon. “I have always told people that I really like Battle Born, but he is not a flashy sort and would never win a race and make it look easy,” he said. “How wrong was I? I could not believe how easily he won.”
Battle Born, a Warwick winner on his previous start, could now bid to complete the hat-trick at Aintree next month.
Pete The Feat, Longsdon’s Crabbie’s Grand National entry, blotted his copybook at Newbury on Saturday.
A veterans’ handicap chase at the Berkshire course was meant to be the ten-year-old’s trial for the Aintree feature.
But the outing proved inconclusive as Pete The Feat unseated Noel Fehily at the 12th fence.
The trainer’s focus now turns to the Cheltenham Festival next week when he could have a dozen runners.
Speaking at the unveiling of the weights for the Festival handicaps, Longsdon expressed high hopes for stable star Pendra.
The six-year-old disappointed when favourite for last season's Coral Cup, but won his first two starts over fences this term, before a moderate effort in a better event at Ascot in December.
Longsdon is also quite keen on Harristown and Cadoudoff, his two contenders for the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle on Wednesday.
Harristown is also entered in the William Hill Imperial Cup at Sandown on Saturday.
Another to get a decent mention was Our Kaempfer, who is on course for the Weatherbys Champion Bumper on Wednesday.