Chipping Norton trainer Charlie Longsdon was left to reflect on what might have been after his big hope, Pendra, finished third at the Cheltenham Festival.
The six-year-old was beaten by only three and a half lengths by Present View in the Rewards4Racing Novices’ Handicap Chase under Tony McCoy, despite making a series of mistakes, including at the last fence, when upsides the winner.
Longsdon said: “Pendra ran a blinder and if he had jumped the last, he must have gone extremely close.
“I thought he had the momentum going into the last and had drawn level with the eventual winner, but jumping is the name of the game and we made the mistake.
“He is still very inexperienced, so this will help him a huge amount for the future.”
Longsdon also believes exciting times lie ahead for Killala Quay after he finished strongly to take fourth behind the impressive winner Faugheen in the Neptune Inv-estment Management Novices’ Hurdle.
Away from the Festival, Longsdon continued his winning ways with Long Wave at Huntingdon and Pure Style at Uttoxeter.
Long Wave, running for the first time in more than three months, stayed on well under Kielan Woods to land a three-mile handicap chase by three and a quarter lengths from Faith Keeper.
Pure Style, who won two National Hunt Flat races for Longsdon last season before joining Charles Byrnes in Ireland, made his first start since returning to Hull Farm a winning one when taking a two-mile novices’ handicap hurdle by a length and a quarter from Bold Adventure.
It sparked a treble for Fehily, who also struck on Bold Chief and Liberty One, but his hopes of completing a four-timer with victory on Longsdon’s Pete The Feat in the Betfred Midlands Grand National were dashed when the ten-year-old fell at the 14th fence.