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RACING: Longsdon celebrates triple delight
Chipping Norton trainer Charlie Longsdon warmed up for the Cheltenham Festival with a treble at Market Rasen, which saw him beat his personal best tally of 69 winners in a National Hunt season.
Kilcooley clocked up win No 70 by completing a hat-trick of his own in the opener at the Lincolnshire track, before No No Mac and Orange Nassau took the next two races to complete a quick-fire treble under Noel Fehily.
Longsdon, whose previous best tally came two years ago, said: “We could not have asked for a better start to the biggest week of the season with a great hat-trick at Market Rasen.
“We went there with six strong chances and to come away with three winners and two placed horses was fantastic.
“It’s been a great season. We’ve beaten our best number of winners and hopefully we can improve on that.”
Kilcooley’s two previous wins had come at Market Rasen, and he showed his liking for the Lincolnshire track again by beating Such A Legend by two lengths in the novices’ hurdle over two miles and a furlong.
The five-year-old could now run at Aintree’s Grand National meeting next month, provided the ground is not too quick.
No No Mac is on course for the Jockey Club Grassroots Jumps Series Final at Haydock after following up his Southwell success with a gutsy effort to beat Kilgefin Star by half a length in the novices’ hurdle over two miles and three furlongs.
Orange Nassau recorded his fourth win this season when making all the running to slam Palos Conti by 25 lengths in a handicap chase over three miles and a furlong.
Longsdon’s winning streak continued on Monday when Sergeant Mattie triumphed in impressive fashion at Plumpton.
The six-year-old, a winner of his last start at Carlisle in October, was heavily eased down by Charlie Deutsch as he came home four lengths clear of Cove in a novices’ hurdle over two miles and five furlongs.
Longsdon could field up to four runners at the Cheltenham Festival today, headed by Killala Quay in the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle.
He can see the seven-year-old “running into a place”, while he believes Cadoudoff has a “squeak” of doing similar in the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle.
Longsdon says Magnifique Etoile will find it “very tough” in the Coral Cup, but he feels Our Kaempfer boasts solid English form and is a “big price at 33-1” in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper.
His Festival team is completed by Shantou Magic, who is expected to “run well” in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle on Friday when he is set to be accompanied by Hazy Tom.