Pendra so close to giving Longsdon his first Festival winner

Chipping Norton trainer Charlie Longsdon saw Pendra pipped at the Cheltenham Festival
Chipping Norton trainer Charlie Longsdon saw Pendra pipped at the Cheltenham Festival
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Charlie Longsdon came agonisingly close to what would have been an outstanding training performance and his first ever Cheltenham Festival winner.

The Chipping Norton trainer saw Pendra pipped on the run-in by Domesday Book in Thursday’s concluding race, the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Amateur Riders Handicap Chase.

The nine-year-old, owned by JP McManus, was having his first run since last year’s Crabbie’s Grand National following some niggling injury problems earlier in the season.

But, despite Pendra only getting back into his work in January, the Hull Farm handler got him back to Prestbury Park, where he ran well in 2014 and 2015.

Given a positive ride from the start by amateur Derek O’Connor, Pendra led early on and was always prominent. Pendra hit the front again in the closing stages but, carrying top weight, he was overhauled up the hill by Domesday Book, ridden by Gina Andrews, who won by three-quarters of a length.