CHARLIE LONGSDON has firmly established his reputation as a young trainer going places and with 48 winners under his belt already this season and over £466,000 in prize money he is within touching distance of beating last season total of 50 and every chance of passing his total of 78 in 2013/2014.
The Chipping Norton trainer has given several of his top guns a short break as heavy ground dominates the ground descriptions at present but he is looking forward to a busy Spring campaign when many of his team will come back fresh and well.
Charlie has the Grade 2 winning staying hurdler Kilcooley nearing a return and the classy Pendra and Drop Out Joe could well add further loot to the stable tally in the coming month. Along with the established stars there are some likeable young horses coming through and the Hull Farm Stables handler kindly spoke to Tony Elves of ATR about his prospects for the remainder of the season.
A VOS GARDES
6 br g Kapgarde - Miscia Nera
Winner of three of his 11 starts. Best effort this term when runner-up, beaten ten lengths, to Top Billing in a handicap hurdle at Bangor (2m 7f) in November off a mark of 133. Currently rated 132 over hurdles.
"He's a nice youngster that has had a few problems learning how to race. This season hasn't quite gone according to plan but he's having a little break and we will bring him back in the Spring. I think he is on a winnable mark and there is a nice handicap to be won with him."
APPLE OF OUR EYE
6 b g Passing Glance - Apple Anthem
Winner of one of his 4 starts. Scored by 37 lengths from Round Robin in a novices hurdle at Ludlow (2m 5 1/2f) in November. Currently rated 125 over hurdles.
"He has done nothing wrong this season and is a big weak youngster who will make a nice novice chaser next year. He won his novice hurdle well at Ludlow and he will go for the EBF Final at Sandown."
6 b/br g Robin des Pres - Marys Isle
Winner of two of his 11 starts. Last won when beating Mont Choisy two and three quarter lengths at Cheltenham (3m) in October off a mark of 125. Currently rated 130.
"He had a good break and is just coming back. He was a good winner at Cheltenham in the Autumn and will probably be aimed at one of those Series finals at Haydock come Easter Saturday. He is a good fun horse and will be a nice chaser next year."
8 br g Blueprint - Lady Delight
Winner of seven of his 28 starts. Winner on his reappearance at Ludlow (3m 1/2f) in October when beating Dreamsoftheatre a length and a quarter off a mark of 129. Currently rated 133 over fences.
"Like a lot of these he's had a break. He didn't like the ground at Ludlow last time having run well on a couple of occasions before that. He will look for a good staying handicap on better ground come March time."
6 ch g Stowaway - Bealaha Essie
Winner of two of his 4 starts. Scored by three quarters of a length from Jonniesofa when gaining latest win in a novice hurdle at Newcastle (2m 6f) in November. Currently rated 132 over hurdles.
"He goes to Doncaster on Saturday for the River Don Novices Hurdle. He has done nothing wrong and won two novice hurdles including a good one at Newcastle at the end of November. He is a big raw horse and whatever he does this season will be a bonus for next season. He is still weak and I am not going to overface him this year. If he runs well at Doncaster we might give him a decent entry and if he struggles we will just take our time. He will be a lovely chaser in time."
7 b g Brian Boru - Acumen
Winner of four of his 22 starts. Last victory in a novices handicap chase at Worcester (2m 7f) in October when beating Somerset Lias 13 lengths off a mark of 118. Currently rated 128 over fences.
"He has done nothing wrong and has been a little unlucky. He got badly hammered by the handicapper for winning his novice chase at Worcester. We will see what the weather does but if needs be then we will wait for a month for the better ground."
7 b g Helissio - Scolboa
Winner of two of his eight starts. Scored by nine lengths from Smooth Stepper in a novices chase at Bangor (2m 4f) in October. Currently rated 139 over fences.
"He's a nice horse who has done nothing wrong and won one this season and been placed in his two other runs. He ran really well stepping up to three miles in a Grade 2 at Doncaster last time and beaten by what I think is a very good horse. He is being aimed at the Skybet Chase at Doncaster on Saturday. If he didn't go there he would go to Cheltenham on Trial day for a 2m 5 1/2f handicap but the Skybet is probably our favoured option."
7 b g Kayf Tara - Graphic Lady
Winner of one of his 5 starts. Off the mark in a maiden hurdle at Uttoxeter (2m 4f) in September. Currently rated 113 over hurdles.
"He's another horse who as just struggled on the ground. He has had a break too and he will come back in March time. He's a real fun horse and not a superstar and will go and win chases in the new season."
5 b g Milan - Lady Appeal
No wins from two bumper runs. Placed third to Ballyandy at Worcester in October.
"He was too weak to cope with the soft ground at Ascot last time out and he will go for a bumper in the Spring on better ground. You will see him to far better effect once he goes hurdling next season."
6 b g Muhtathir - Tanguista
Winner of five of his 18 starts. Successful in a handicap hurdle at Warwick (2m) in November when beating Orthodox Lad two and three quarter lengths off a mark of 113.
"He has had a wind operation and I think he's off a winnable mark but you won't see him until the second half of March. He will jump a fence in time."
DROP OUT JOE
8 ch g Generous - La Feuillarde
Winner of five of his 17 starts. Took the listed Badge Ales Trophy at Wincanton (3m 1f) by half lengths from Royal Rebellion off a mark of 143. Currently rated 151.
"He's been a superstar and won £50,000 worth of prize money and won both his races this season. He had a good break after Wincanton and will probably now go to Sandown on February 6."
7 b g Germany - Markir
Winner of four of his 13 starts. Scored by three lengths from Relic Rock off a mark of 134 at Carlisle in October. Currently rated 140.
"He's a nice horse and 140 rated. He is another who likes better ground and we have given him a break and will fetch him back in the Spring. He has done nothing wrong and he may go to Cheltenham in March."
HANNIBAL THE GREAT
8 b g Milan - Town Gossip
Winner of three of his six starts. Not seen out since scoring at Southwell in December 2013.
"He has yet to race this season but I am not going to run him on the soft ground. They have put him on 122 after two years off the racecourse and we always thought he was a very nice horse in his day and I still think he could be a nice horse."
7 b m Kalanisi - Fairy Lane
Winner of three of her nine starts. Impressive winner of a novice chase at Huntingdon (2m 4f) in December.
"She didn't really fire when third to Aso at Market Rasen last week and is better than she showed then. We have always thought a lot of her and she won really nicely at Huntingdon first time out. We always thought she could be running in bigger races at the end of the season."
7 b g Stowaway - Bealaha Essie
Winner of six of his 13 starts. Impressive 13 length victor from Rock On Ruby in the Grade 2 Yorkshire Hurdle at Wetherby (3m) in November when last seen out. Currently rated 164 over hurdles.
"The plan is the World Hurdle. He had one or two niggly problems after winning the Yorkshire Hurdle. He seems fine now and is obviously a class performer."
8 b g Westerner - Cailin Deas
Winner of eight of his 20 starts Winner of his first four this season and scored his last success by a nose from Princeton Royale off a mark of 132 at Plumpton (3m 1/2f) in September. Currently rated 140 over hurdles.
"He has been one of the superstars for us and he's had a break since October. He will probably go for the Pertemps Hurdle at Cheltenham and has gone up 60lb in the ten runs he had for us. He won eight of those ten and has been a really good horse for the owners."
9 b g Karinga Bay - Madam Bijou
Winner of five of his 16 starts. Scored by four and a half lengths from Souriyan in a beginners chase at Uttoxeter (2m 4f) in October. Currently rated 136 over fences.
"He won very nicely first time out at Uttoxeter and got a little stuck in the ground at Ascot last time. He will be out once the ground dries, and I will look for a nice handicap for him on better ground from 2m 6f to three miles."
LEITH HILL LEGASI
7 b m Kahyasi - Leith Hill Star
Winner of three of her 19 races. Success in handicap chases at Chepstow (2m 7 1/2f) and Plumpton (3m 2 1/2f) in November, Currently rated 97 over fences.
"She is lowly rated but has a heart of gold and she has won two for us this season. Sam Twiston-Davies gets on really well with her and she may need to come down the handicap now but she's been good this season."
7 b g Kayf Tara - Royal Keel
Winner of two of his 16 starts. Currently rated 122 over fences.
"He just had a little problem after his fall at Doncaster and I probably ran him over too sharp a trip over big fences. He will stepped back up to two and a half miles on better ground and has had a little break after his fall."
10 b g Sir Harry Lewis - Worlaby Rose
Winner of six of his 30 starts. Best effort this season when beaten only a nose by Fruity O'Rooney at Ascot (3m) in November off a mark of 130. Currently rated 132 over fences.
"He ran well for a long way at Warwick the other day and it was just too far on ground that was too soft for him. He will head for a nice handicap chase at Sandown in the middle of March. He can still win off his mark and he's won around Sandown before. Down on 132/131 he's got a chance and there are still a few more races to be won with him."
6 b g Spadoun - Eurolucy
Winner of three of his 13 starts. Latest win at Ascot (2m 5 1/2f) in December when beating Duke Des Champs a short head off a mark of 119. Currently rated 127 over hurdles.
"He has been a revelation this season and won twice at Ascot and ran well at Newbury in between. He might well run in an EBF Qualifier at Ascot this weekend. We are thinking of the EBF Final at Sandown in March. If he doesn't go there we may enter him in one of those consolation races for horse that don't get in at Cheltenham."
6 b m Midnight Legend - Barton Flower
No wins from 6 starts. Runner-up, beaten nine lengths, to Leaderofthedance at Ludlow (2m 5 1/2f) in October. Currently rated 105.
"There is a race at Ludlow at the beginning of February which should be ideal for her now she's had a wind operation."
6 b g Midnight Legend - Suave Shot
Winner of three of his 10 starts. Successful at Southwell (2m) and Uttoxeter (2m) in May. Currently rated 120 over hurdles.
"He was badly brought down at Cheltenham and we have had to go back to the drawing board with him. He is gradually learning and will hopefully be streetwise enough in the Spring."
5 br g Daylami - Charming Present
Winner of two of his three starts. Winner of a point-to-point in Ireland and a bumper at Carlisle in October.
"He might go for another bumper and then possibly novice hurdling. You won't see him until the Spring as he hated the ground at Ascot and you will see a far different horse then."
6 b g Midnight Legend - Whichway Girl
Winner of one of his 8 starts. Beaten only a head by Georgie Lad in a handicap hurdle at Bangor (2m 7f) in October off a mark of 115. Currently rated 120 over hurdles.
"He only just got touched off at Bangor first time out and he's had a wind operation since then. He will go on any ground and should be out from the middle of February onwards."
OFF THE GROUND
10 b g Oscar - Kaysei
Winner of three of his 23 starts. Beaten only three and a half lengths when runner-up to Voix D'Eau at Doncaster in November off a mark of 135. Currently rated 137 over fences.
"He has been a bit unlucky as he fell twice when going well and has also finished second. There is a nice handicap in him somewhere if we play our cards right."
10 gr g Martaline - Vilaya
Winner of four of his 38 starts. Currently rated 119 over fences.
"He is great old servant and the handicapper hasn't been very kind to him. He's having a little break and will come back for a little staying race at the beginning of March."
7 b g Oscar - Gra-Bri
Winner of three of his 12 starts. Runner-up, beaten five lengths, to Broxbourne in a handicap hurdle at Aintree (3m 1/2f) in November off current mark of 140 over hurdles.
"He has been unlucky this season having finished fourth in the Silver Trophy at Chepstow and was then unlucky in a Pertemps Qualifer at Aintree where it turned into a sprint where as he would have preferred a true run race. He was brought down when going well in a fixed-brush hurdle at Haydock in November and will go straight to Cheltenham for either the Coral Cup or the Pertemps Final. He has a nice looking handicap mark."
8 ch g Old Vic - Mariah Rollins
Winner of six of his 14 starts. Impressive three and a quarter length victor from Double Ross in a Grade 3 Handicap Chase at Ascot (3m) in October off a mark of 140. Subsequently finished fifth again at Ascot on it's last start having clouted the last fence. Currently rated 147 over fences.
"He is another who is in extremely good form. He has had a little bit of a break since his last Ascot run where he was a bit unlucky. We are looking for better ground for him and we don't know yet whether to wait for the English or Irish Nationals. The options are wide open and we will see how he is."
PETE THE FEAT
12 b g King's Theatre - Tourist Attraction
Winner of nine of his 50 starts. Best effort this term when beaten only a length by Alternatif at Plumpton (3m 1 1/2f) in December off a mark of 132. Currently rated 130.
"He's been a good old boy having had two years off and has done little wrong. He ran very nicely at Catterick last week and we will look for a race for him in a few weeks time. He's 12 now and we will take it one race at a time but there's definitely another win in him the way he's been running this season."
8 gr g Flemensfirth - Ceol Tire
Winner of three of his 18 starts. Currently rated 116 over fences.
"He's done nothing wrong and has been badly treated by the handicapper but runs to his mark every time over three miles. There is definitely a race in him in the Spring if the handicapper shows a little respite."
5 b m Scorpion - Cailin's Prince
Placed in two of her three bumpers
"Should have won one of her first two bumpers and tried in graded company last time. We are waiting for the better ground but I would be doing a bad job is she doesn't win a bumper."
9 b g Shantou - Supreme Magical
Winner of five of his 15 starts. Currently rated 133 over fences.
"He's had a little break. The handicapper has finally given him a chance and there's a nice handicap in him off a mark of 133. We will wait for the better ground for him too."
6 b g Spadoun - Sleeping Diva
Winner of three of his 11 starts. Winner at Bangor (2m 1/2f) in May, Market Rasen (2m 2 1/2f) in June and completed a hat trick at Fontwell (2m 1 1/2f) in October. Currently rated 128 over hurdles.
"He has done nothing wrong and won three races for us early on. He will go chasing next season but there's a handicap to be won with him with a step up in trip."
SPIRIT OF SHANKLY
8 ch g Sulamani - Lago d'Oro
Winner of five of his 22 starts. Runner-up. beaten four lengths, to Bally Beaufort at Aintree (3m 1f) in November off a mark of 134. Currently rated 129.
"He's been disappointing but retains a lot of ability. He ran well at Aintree earlier in the season and he has thrown the towel in a couple of times since. Things haven't gone according to plan yet."
4 b f Beat Hollow - Midsummer Magic
"She is a horse of The Queen's who works nicely and should be out at the beginning of March. It would be lovely to have a winner for The Queen."
ST JOHNS POINT
8 b g Darsi - Dunsford Belle
Winner of one of his 9 starts. Places in three starts this term. Currently rated 120 over fences.
"He has been unlucky this season and has been placed in his three starts. He was beaten only a length and three quarters in a novices' handicap chase at Towcester and can hopefully go one better soon."
5 b g Blue Bresil - Vavea
Winner of two of his 15 starts, Both wins when trained in France. Currently rated 127 over fences.
"He is a very nice horse I think we got it wrong in the first half of the season. He has had a wind operation and will be ready to run at the beginning of March. Fingers crossed we will see a much nicer horse in the Spring."
5 b/br g Davidoff - Lavircas
No wins from 5 runs.
"He is a nice little horse and finished runner-up in a bumper and fourth in his first novice hurdle. He is a very athletic horse and you will see plenty of improvement when the Spring arrives."
WELLS DE LUNE
5 b g Irish Wells - Pepite De Lune
Winner of one of his four starts scoring as a three-year-old when trained in France. Currently rated 117 over hurdles.
"He is a nice horse who had 18 months off and I probably made a mistake running him in a listed handicap first time out. He got very buzzed up from that first run and it may take a couple of outings for him to settle down. If we get him right he could be well handicapped."
5 b g Westerner - Definite Miller
Winner of one of his 5 starts. Currently rated 114 over hurdles.
"He didn't like the ground at Cheltenham on New Year's Day and won his novice nicely. He looks off a workable mark of 114."
6 b g Kayf Tara - Swaythe
Winner of three of his 8 starts. Successful in novice hurdles at Market Rasen and Bangor last season. Currently rated 129 over hurdles.
"He is a very nice horse and hasn't had the ground right this season. He needs a step up to two and a half on better ground and then you will see a better horse and he will go chasing next year."
COOLOGUE - nice sort with little mileage on the clock and further wins await.
DROP OUT JOE - winner of the Badger Ales in the Autumn and more chase success awaits him in the Spring.
KALANE - looked a world beater at Huntingdon in December and can snap into top gear as she gain further experience over fences.
KILCOOLEY - looked a sharp tool when winning the Grade 2 Yorkshire Hurdle at Wetherby and can come good in staying events later in the season.
PENDRA - looked to be getting his act together when winning at Ascot earlier in the season and has a big handicap in him.
SCORPION PRINCESS - unlucky not to have won a bumper already and can soon get on the score sheet in one of those events.