Coologue poised for more success at Prestbury Park

Coologue and champion jockey Richard Johnson on their way to victory at Cheltenham 12 months ago
Coologue and champion jockey Richard Johnson on their way to victory at Cheltenham 12 months ago

Coologue could bid for back-to-back victories in Saturday’s randoxhealth.com Handicap Chase, one of two £50,000 handicap chases at Cheltenham on day two of The Showcase meeting.

Trained by Charlie Longsdon, Coologue teamed up with champion jockey Richard Johnson to win the three mile, one furlong contest in tenacious fashion 12 months ago.

It has always been the plan to get him ready for this weekend, so you would hope he can go close again

Chipping Norton trainer Charlie Longsdon

The eight-year-old, who was last seen out when finishing third in a handicap chase at The April Meeting, will run off the same handicap rating (140) as last year.

The only multiple winner of the randoxhealth.com Handicap Chase so far in 10 runnings is Balthazar King, who triumphed three years on the bounce between 2011 and 2013.

The Chipping Norton trainer said: “At this stage, Coologue could well run at Cheltenham. He is also in at Kelso the same day and I am yet to have a good look at the entries but he won the randoxhealth.com Handicap Chase last year and quite naturally that would look the preference at this stage.

“It has always been the plan to get him ready for this weekend, so you would hope he can go close again. The main aim for him this season is to get him up the handicap so that he can get into the Grand National, that is what we are thinking at the moment.”

The Hull Farm handler added: “I am also looking forward to seeing Midnight Shot in the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars Novices’ Chase. He has been a fun, progressive horse over the summer and won a nice race at Uttoxeter last time.

“We also have quite a nice young horse called Way Out West in the Jockey Club Venues Standard Open Bumper. We got him at the sales after he won first time out at Sedgefield.”