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RACING: Trainer Longsdon racks up 300th winner
Charlie Longsdon reached another milestone in his burgeoning career when Harristown gave him his 300th winner with a surprise 20-1 success at Huntingdon, writes Russell Smith.
It took the Chipping Norton trainer’s tally for the season to 65 winners – just four short of his previous best.
He said: “In just over six years training, I am delighted to reach the milestone – it is all down to the hard work of the lads here.”
Kielan Woods got a good leap out of Harristown at the last flight in the 32Red Juvenile Hurdle, while Baradari blundered, handing the advantage to Longsdon’s charge, who won by a length.
It was the second time Longsdon, 38, had won the four-year-old hurdle for the Chatteris Fen Trophy, having saddled Songe to claim victory in the extended two-mile event six years ago.
He added: “It is great to get a surprise winner, especially when it is 20-1.
“To be honest, I thought he was more of a 10-1 shot and had a small each-way chance, but to win was an bonus.
“Kielan gets on very well with the horse and has won on him both times he has ridden him.”
Harristown could now go for the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
Twoways followed up his Towcester win for Mark Rimell’s Leafield stables, near Witney, with victory at Carlisle.
The eight-year-old again showed his liking for testing conditions by coming home two and a quarter lengths clear of Hallmark Star under Conor O’Farrell.
Rimell reported that it had taken the gelding, who is for sale, time to get his act together, and that he should be even better over fences.
Long Run continues his build-up to the Crabbie’s Grand National by running at Kelso today.
The 2011 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero, owned by Robert Waley-Cohen, who lives at Edgehill, near Banbury, will be ridden by his son Sam in the Ivan Straker Memorial Chase where his three rivals include recent 66-1 Cheltenham winner Knockara Beau.
The nine-year-old, trained by Nicky Henderson at Lambourn, was allotted second top weight of 11st 9lb for the Aintree marathon in the weights unveiled on Tuesday.
Harbour Court, Aston Rowant trainer Alan Hill’s big hope for the CGA Foxhunter Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, also runs at Kelso.
The exciting eight-year-old, who was due to reappear at the Cambridge University Draghounds point-to-point meeting at Cotten-ham last Saturday only for the meeting to be washed out, faces 13 rivals in the CGA Foxhunter Trial Open Hunters’ Chase.
Hill said: “He is in great order and I am very happy with him. I would just obviously be pleased to get a run under our belts to see where we are.”
Looking ahead to Saturday, Loch Ba could fly the flag for Mick Channon’s West Ilsley stables in the Betfred Grand National Trial at Haydock.