Castafiore will be heading Longsdon’s team at Cheltenham

Chipping Norton trainer Charlie Longsdon hopes the ultra-consistent Castafiore can maintain her form at next month’s Cheltenham Festival.

Saturday, 2nd March 2019, 6:57 am
Chipping Norton trainer Charlie Longsdon will have several runners at Cheltenham

Longsdon will have several runners at The Festival™ presented by Magners with Castafiore headlining his team. The six-year-old daughter of Street Cry captured a Grade 2 event at Haydock in January and finished a creditable second to Bags Groove at Kempton last weekend.

Longsdon could run the talented mare in either the Grade 1 JLT Novices’ Chase to make use of the 7lb mares’ allowance or the Close Brothers’ Novices’ Handicap Chase.

The Hull Farm handler said: “Castafiore has been a revelation for us over fences. She ran a great race at Kempton last weekend on ground that was probably too quick for her.

“I think the key to her is a mares’ allowance and getting 7lb off the boys is a big thing. She is as tough as nails and wherever she goes, she will have her little each-way chance. She is not bred to jump a fence, having been bred by the same sire as Winx and Zenyatta, but she loves her jumping and that is her biggest asset.

“She could go for the JLT because of the mares’ allowance which could give her a right old little chance in that or we’ll go for the Close Brothers. If there is more rain then that will suit her too. She is the horse with an each-way squeak for us this year.”

Longsdon could also saddle Willie Boy in the Ultima Handicap Chase, Just Your Type in the Kim Muir or National Hunt Chase and Treackle Tart in the Kim Muir or National Hunt Chas.

He added: “Willie Boy has fell twice in two runs at Cheltenham but we’re stepping him up in trip which should suit and the Ultima is the plan for him. think he is potentially well handicapped if he gets round and is clearly a good horse.

“Just Your Type was unlucky in the Eider Chase last time and could go for the four-miler and Treackle Tart goes for the Kim Muir or the four-miler.”